Archives for May 19th, 2006

THE FUTURE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE – A GROWING DEBATE

Features, PublicNet: 19 May, 2006

By Colin Talbot This article was first published in Public Management and Policy and is reproduced by permission of the Association. http://www.cipfa.org.uk/pmpa/index.cfm The Civil Service has been subjected to a succession of reforms and the pace of new initiatives has increased in the last two decades. The author argues that despite the introduction of new structures and systems, little has actually changed. He suggests that a culture shock is needed in the shape of a separation of policy advice to ministers and the creation of a national public service to deliver services.



PUBLIC SECTOR NEEDS TO DO BETTER AT COMPLAINT HANDLING

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 May, 2006

Public sector organisations are failing to keep pace with their customers’ complaints, at a time when the volume of complaints and sense of urgency are rising sharply. They are trailing other sectors such as retail and leisure. They are also failing to make use of the valuable feedback that complaints reveal about service delivery. There are, however, local authorities in the survey whose exceptional performance bucks the trend and scores better in the survey than major commercial brands. These findings come from the National Complaints Culture Survey by the Institute of Customer Service and organisational development company TMI.Over the past five years public sector organisations have consistently been viewed by consumers as the least effective at handling complaints. Twenty-six per cent of respondents rated public sector organisations as the least effective at handling complaints, compared to 19 per cent for the finance sector and 16 per cent for retail.

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GREEN LIGHT FOR CITIZENS EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 May, 2006

The pilot Active Learning for Active Citizenship projects, which aimed to give people the confidence, know-how and skills to engage with public bodies and influence services, have shown that the initiative is on the right course. Active Learning for Active Citizenship is part of the government’s ‘Together We Can’ action plan to involve people more in the decisions that affect their communities. The report, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, shows that the learning programmes have helped people become more active and empowered in their communities. The initiative is now being rolled out nationally.The pilots, involving over 1,300 participants, were carried out in seven regional hubs: the Black Country, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, London, the South West, South Yorkshire, and Tees Valley. They have been hosted by organisations including the WEA in Sheffield, Exeter CVS and London Civic Forum.

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