Archives for March 26th, 1999

NHS DIRECT REVEALS PUBLIC SCORE LOW ON HEALTH

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 1999

When a health problem arises six out of ten people don’ t know what to do about it.
This is the finding from a survey by Sheffield University of users of the telephone helpline NHS Direct. The survey found that 40% of people took less urgent action than they intended to do before calling the helpline. Most of these people were given advice on how to look after themselves at home. In 20% of cases callers were advised to take more urgent action than they had intended to do.

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CRACKDOWN ON BENEFIT FRAUD

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 1999

Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling has set a target to reduce benefit fraud by 30%. As with all fraud it is difficulty to be precise about its true extent, but it is estimated that the savings on Income Support over a five year period will amount to one billion pounds. The new strategy Safeguarding Social Security sets out how the Benefits Agency and local authorities will use information technology and other measures to stem the flow of cash out of the system.

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DOWNSIZING THE CIVIL SERVICE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 26 March, 1999

Peters L
Public Administration and Development, (UK), Oct 1998 Vol 18 No 4
Start page: 381. No of pages: 6

Aims to complement existing research into the problems of downsizing the civil service in developing countries by putting the issue into the wider context of public sector management reform. Argues that civil service reform should not be seen as an end in itself, and as such likely to provoke resistance, but as one of many initiatives to improve the allocation of scarce resources between the private and public sectors. Suggests that a key approach is to move from input-driven public management to out-put driven management. Explores the zero-budgeting technique as a reform mechanism and highlights its drawbacks in relation to developing countries. Contends that accrual budgeting is a more useful reform mechanism since it focuses on the delivery of well-specified outputs at competitive prices and devolves the implementation of management reform to groups rather than to a single government agency, thus averting the potential risk of resistance.

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