Headlines: March 31st, 1999

Cabinet Office Minister Jack Cunningham has launched the programme for modernising government. The White Paper sets out a vision for transforming the way government works for people and a programme for achieving the transformation.

The aims of the programme are to ensure that policy making is more joined up and strategic, to focus services more closely on people’s lives and to deliver high quality and efficient services.

People are exercising choice and demanding higher quality services. In the private sector, service standards and service delivery have improved as a result. Users of public services expect the same levels of improvement. The programme of transformation aims to deliver this higher standard, which includes making services available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Prime Minister Tony Blair is writing to all public servants to explain the modernisation programme, what it seeks to achieve and how people in public service can contribute. He stresses that the Government values public service and the commitment of those who work in it. He sets out a challenge to find the best ways of working towards a common goal of making things better for the public and the country.

In a move to encourage people at all levels to contribute to the modernisation programme, it is planned to hold team and organisation wide discussions across the public sector to stimulate innovative ideas as well as to take forward the planned initiatives.

In response to an invitation to give a message to Publicnet readers Jack Cunningham said: “Tell your readers in public service that we can deliver change in the way we do things so that we can give a better service. We don’t know all the answers, we have to learn. If we work together we can do that.”