Archives for August 3rd, 2005

AN INQUIRY INTO BALANCED SCORECARDS WITHIN BEST VALUE IN UK LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 3 August, 2005

By Rodney Mcadam and Timothy WalkerThis paper examines the use of Balanced Scorecards as an approach to implementing Best Value in UK local government. It critically evaluates approaches to implementing Best Value so that local government can determine how to achieve the service performance levels laid down in the framework. The paper describes an exploratory multiple case research study followed by participant-observer research on Balanced Scorecard development in a Best Value context. The findings show that the Balanced Scorecard can play a key role in Best Value implementation. Moreover it is also useful in linking other improvement initiatives. The audit functions of the Business Excellence Model go some way to providing the necessary organizational and environmental information.

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LIBRARIES CHALLENGED TO REFORM

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 August, 2005

Library managers have been challenged to a three year reform program following publication of the Select Committee Report on public libraries. See Publicnet 29 July ‘public libraries could have single agency to buy books.’ The call for reform has come from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council which is the lead strategic body for museums, libraries and archives.The Councils’ vision is that core functions of the public library should be expanded and reinterpreted through exciting initiatives to make reading accessible and relevant to all, and through the use of new technologies to improve access to learning and information for everyone 24 hours a day. It believes that public libraries can be powerful catalysts for cultural and social change.

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OMBUDSMEN JOIN UP TO PROVIDE STREAMLINED SERVICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 August, 2005

A radical reform of the Public Sector Ombudsman Services is planned as part of the wider modernization of public services. There are Ombudsmen for central government departments and their agencies, for the health service, together with a further three for local government. The Ombudsmen conduct independent investigations about unfair or improper actions or poor service. Their aim is to put things right and to share learning to improve public services.The number of complaints received by the Ombudsmen continues to grow and a major constraint in improving efficiency is that the five elements of the service work independently. As services at the sharp end move to a more joined up approach, such as health and social services working together, it becomes increasingly difficult to operate in a silo when dealing with complaints. It is now proposed that the Ombudsmen should work together and share information. Ironically Ann Abraham holds the posts of Ombudsman for central government and for the health service, but her staff are organized in separate commands. The changes will mean that the staff of all the five organizations will be able to consult each other and work together on cases and issues that are relevant to more than one of them.

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