Headlines: November 19th, 1999

A new report says that setting targets for the burgeoning partnerships in the public sector can help keep them on track – but they need care in setting.The interim report on the ‘Measurement and Performance Project’ (MAPP), reviews how performance targets can be an incentive or barrier to effective partnership working.

The report’s key findings are that performance targets act as incentives to achievement when they match the aims and objectives of all partners.

But it indicates that there is a need for greater co-ordination between government departments in agreeing targets. And it says better communication is required between central government departments and local organisations to communicate targets effectively.

Cabinet Office Minister Ian McCartney says his department is already attempting to implement the findings of the report, which includes production of a summary of best practice guidance on the MAPP website, and an e mail bulletin board as a tool for sharing best practice throughout the MAPP partnership network. His department is also producing a checklist of points for Ministers and government departments to consider when developing performance and information requirements.

MAPP was launched on a year-long basis in April 1999 by the Cabinet Office. Its interim report is available on the MAPP website at: http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/eeg/1999/mapp.htm