Abstracts: March 5th, 2008

Public expectations about how taxpayers’ money is spent are increasing and there is a growing concern about whether value for money in all areas of government is achieved consistently. The recent Whitehall Capability Reviews and the external assessments made of local government, health and the police have all shown significant opportunities for organisational improvement.

In response to these developments HM Treasury has published this report which draws on the lessons from reviews, as well as the substantial knowledge and experience of volunteer groups of external advisers to government, to examine public sector performance management. The report looks at the challenge facing all public sector organisations to do more with less.

The key messages from this work highlights the importance of a performance management culture and training and succession planning.

Leading and embedding a culture of Performance Management is critical for success. The whole organisation, led by its top team, must embrace a culture where performance management is seen as integral to achieving the desired outcomes. It is important that an organisation’s leadership exemplifies the desired behaviours and applies performance management in ways that are most relevant to its context and required outcomes. Performance must not be just a centrally driven exercise or seen as the sole preserve of finance or some other corporate function.

Enabling a culture of performance management will have training implications in all parts of public sector organisations. Succession planning and appropriate training and development for future leaders and their top teams is also an important success factor.

The report is available from HMT. http://thegfp.treasury.gov.uk/resources/pdf/2008_perf_mgt_pub_sector.pdf