Publicnet was launched five years ago today. With a focus on joined up government, the launch was planned to coincide with the arrival of the new Labour administration. Statements about the end of silo thinking in the delivery of public services led to the expectation that ‘joining up’would become the norm and cross boundary working would be commonplace. Publicnet was geared up from the start to monitor these developments and bring news daily about the way people at the center and at the sharp end were finding ways to bring seamless government to customers. The reality proved to be rather different. ‘Joining up’ has happened, particularly with health and social services, but many barriers such as budgets and culture remain firmly in place.In the five years many new initiatives across central and local government and the health services have been closely followed. The initiative web is continually changing with the fall out resulting from expectation failure, such as health and education action zones and the appearance of new ideas such as street wardens. The Publicnet website now holds a complete archive of news, views and other information covering what has become the most turbulent period so far in the history UK public services with a radical reform agenda that has no equal.
Publicnet will continue to track the development of the modernizing agenda and the movement towards working across professional boundaries. A new development will be increased coverage of human resource issues. In association with jobgopublic a one stop news and jobs service is now provided. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in collaboration with the Centre for Management and Policy Studies have developed a modernization programme which includes research into change management in public services. Publicnet plans to bring news about the programme as well as the research findings.