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
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy