Archives for May 24th, 2000

SHARPENING UP PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 May, 2000

A project in the Department of Trade and Industry, led by Byron Grote of BP Amoco, has successfully proved that a performance management system used by oil companies can be applied in a public service context. Sir Michael Scholar, Permanent Secretary at the DTI, believes that the system should be extended to other areas of the department and elsewhere.A survey at the start of the project identified weaknesses in the current performance management arrangements. The aim and vision of the group taking part in the pilot was not well known to staff below director level. The links between personal objectives, group objectives, priorities, targets and strategic framework were not well recognised. Also there was a plethora of objectives which seemed disconnected from the ‘real’ work of the team.

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COUNCILS BID FOR FREEDOM TO DELIVER EXCELLENCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 May, 2000

The Local Government Association has launched an initiative to give local councils greater freedom and flexibility to set priorities and deliver excellence tailored to local needs. In return, councils will commit to delivering stretching targets. The move meets the growing concern in town halls that the Government is increasingly adopting a ‘Frontline First’ approach where money is ring fenced and goes straight to schools or hospitals, cutting out middle men such as health and local authorities.The initiative is based on the Public Service Agreements between the Treasury and other government departments. Councils would commit themselves to 12 tough targets, some of which would stretch national standards, such as increasing the achievement of 11 year olds above standards of literacy and numeracy. Other targets would relate to local priorities such as tackling crime or social exclusion. The targets would be agreed with local people and central government.

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THE FUTURE PATIENT

Book News, PublicNet: 24 May, 2000

By Lisa HarkerAccording to a recent report in the British Medical Journal, in 20 years time developments in technology will have transformed hospitals and medical treatment beyond all recognition. Hospitals will be crammed with sensors and robots, and patients will have access to so much information that they will become their own GP. Exciting though these predictions are, the problem is that they are overwhelmingly based upon supply side issues: the technologies that will be possible and the professions that will deliver them.

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