Headlines: July 15th, 1997

The power of governments to influence and deliver policies is under threat from many directions. In recent years public support for government has declined world wide. Levels of trust have fallen, doubts have been expressed about standards of accountability and a feeling has grown that governments are becoming more remote from people. Public Service Minister David Clark on a visit Washington is finding out how the US administration is addressing this issue.Dr Clark speaking about his visit said: “A key problem facing many democracies is the growing estrangement between governments and their peoples – a feeling that governments are out of touch and unaware of the needs of the ordinary person. My job is to find responses to these problems – ways to bring government and the people together, through listening, learning, and being more open and responsive. The US administration share my concern, and my visit is aimed at putting our heads together to share practical knowledge and experience about how we can make government better.”