Headlines: January 28th, 1999

The Government has launched a task force to make sense of all the various schemes designed to drive up public sector standards.Announcing that more than ever local and national government departments have won a Charter Mark award, Dr Jack Cunningam, Minister for the Cabinet Office, also announced a wider look at how the major quality schemes can improve public services.

The government thinks that schemes like the Charter Mark, the Business Excellence Model, Investors in People and ISO 9000 – could all play a role in the modernising government agenda to be set out in a White Paper to be published in the Spring.

Dr Cunningham said: “The purpose of the task force is to ensure that the four quality schemes co-operate in order to maximise their collective impact on raising quality in the public sector.”

The launch of the task force was accompanied by the publication of a Cabinet Office booklet entitled A guide to quality schemes for the public sector. This guide is aimed at helping public sector managers to select the scheme that best suits their organisation.

There were a record number of 508 Charter Mark winners for 1998, 39% up on last year. Much of the rise came from the local government sector.

For copies of A guide to quality schemes for the public sector contact 0171 270 0043.