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
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences