Headlines: March 23rd, 2007

IMPROVING EFFICIENCY MEANS CHANGING BEHAVIOUR

 

Following the Budget Statement by the Chancellor efficiency remains high on the public service agenda, but savings will not be realized without a change of behaviour. This is the conclusion from Kable, one of the UK’s leading experts on public sector ICT markets, in the latest analysis of expenditure up to 2012.

The Kable report predicts a change in emphasis in seeking efficiency away from moving resources out of the back office and towards securing performance improvement in the front office. Because this change will have an effect on structures, processes, targets and accountability, success will depend, not only organizations changing behaviour, but also on the public responding to new access channels. Without a change in the public’s behaviour little will be achieved.

Kable’s analysis shows that the biggest growth in ICT expenditure will be in local government, where the rate of increase will accelerate. Justice ICT will also be very strong, with double digit expansion predicted. Overall expenditure will rise at 6% annually and then decelerate to levels comparable with growth in the overall economy by 2012. By product, communications will see the largest growth.

The theme of changing behaviour in the Kable expenditure analysis reflects the conclusions of the Futurebuilders Advisory Panel which also sees a need for behaviour change in public bodies and in the third sector. Sir Michael Lyons echoed this view in his report: ‘Place-shaping: a shared ambition for the future of local government’, where he argued that reforming local government is less about new powers or structures and much more about behaviours and attitudes.