Book News: January 13th, 2005

This report from the National Audit Office is based on a survey of 131 government bodies, assessing their performance under each of the Government’s six key diversity strands: disability, gender, race, religion and belief, age, and sexual orientation. The NAO found that many government bodies are making progress towards addressing the challenges of providing services to diverse customers, but that there is scope for significant improvements.Government bodies need to focus more on working with customers, their representative organisations, and expert groups, to understand and address diverse needs. They need to develop leadership that empowers frontline staff to take the initiative in identifying and responding to diverse needs and to recognise that frontline staff, the outward face of public services, must have sufficient freedom and support in meeting the needs of diverse customers. This requires managers to articulate their messages on diversity clearly and provide support with appropriate actions.

The report also calls for the integration of diversity into all areas of public service delivery by developing the appropriate organisational structures, recruiting and developing a workforce with the experience and skills to meet diverse needs, and targeting appropriate levels of resources to deliver diverse services.

The report is available at: