Abstracts: September 4th, 2003

This report by The Public Administration Select Committee suggests that targets and tables can hamper service delivery. It assesses the measurement culture and concentrates in particular on performance targets, including PSAs, and league tables. The Report recognizes the need for targets and that taxpayers and users of public services have a right to know how well their services are being delivered and who is accountable for them. The Committee found that the aims of targets, such as giving a clear sense of direction and a focus on delivering results, are in many cases not being fulfilled nor widely recognised by those on the front line whose job it is to deliver them. The report identifies cases where “delivering on targets seemed to have become more important than delivering on services” . It calls for better integration of the performance and measurement cultures and greater local autonomy to construct more meaningful and relevant targets.The Report is available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmpubadm/62/6203.htm