Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The 'Vicious Triangle’ Affecting Productivity In Our Public Services

29.09.2006
Two social researchers will have a strong message for policymakers next week, when they present the findings of their research at a conference in Westminster.

Professor Iain McLean and Dr Dirk Haubrich will say that local public services in England are being affected by a ‘vicious triangle’ present in the way that central government assesses performance and need. The researchers are calling for a re-examination of the ‘contradictory regimes’ which govern public sector productivity.

The pair, from Oxford University, will deliver their findings at the conference “Do You Get What You Pay For? Getting to Grips with Public Service Productivity” in Westminster on Friday 29 September. They will present their paper alongside seven other professionals with an interest in public service productivity.

McLean, who is Professor of Politics at Oxford University, says that there are contradictory elements within the systems that measure performance and need within the regimes governing local authorities. “Central Government assesses the quality of service delivery in English local authorities through the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) regime. This is true for service delivery in education, social services, housing, benefits, and leisure.”

However, the CPA does not always work together in harmony with other measurement systems.

“Government also uses what is known as an ‘index of multiple deprivation’ to assess the neediness of small areas to direct funds to them,” says McLean. “Sometimes, very similar indices appear in both an authority's CPA score and an area's index of deprivation.”

McLean illustrates the problem by explaining how school exam results influence performance measures (the CPA score) and need assessments.

“If you improve your school results, your CPA score goes up, but your funding from central government goes down. Conversely, if school results worsen, funding from central government goes up, but your CPA score goes down. Either way, you gain a (partly) financial bonus and suffer a (partly) financial penalty.”

McLean and Haubrich conclude that there is a Catch-22 type situation experienced by public service providers throughout the UK, as they try to demonstrate both productivity and need.

“The implication for central government is that there are two contradictory regimes in place, at least one of which should be abandoned or modified,” says McLean.

Annika Howard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>