New measures to ensure public sector efficiency are set out in a new white paper – ‘Service Delivery Agreements 2001- 2004’.The performance targets – Public Service Agreements (PSAs) were set in July. The latest guide explains how these targets will be met in Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs).
SDAs provide a picture of what each department is doing over the next three years to improve their efficiency and performance through the use of management tools, benchmarking, focusing on consumers, access to services, ensuring policies and services respond to the needs of all groups in our society, managing staff, putting services on-line, and improving policy making.
For the major departments their SDA underpins their PSA. For smaller departments, who do not have a PSA, the SDA sets out the outcomes they will deliver and how they will deliver them.
The whole initiative aims to police the large amounts of investment now being directed at public sector services following the most recent spending review.
As part of this initiative, 45 government departments have agreed to publish their detailed SDAs on their individual websites, so that the public can see for themselves what action is being planned.
In a significant step to appreciating that many cross-cutting issues are not the concern of one department only, some projects, such as Sure Start, are publishing their own SDA.