MORE POWER TO THE FRONT LINE
Public sector staff working on the front line are to be given greater freedom to do their jobs with a promise that red tape will be cut. The anti bureaucracy strategy launched by Cabinet Office Ministers aims to cut out rules and tasks that do not add to doing an efficient job.
Whitehall departments have been told that they must identify the bureaucracy burden on public services. They then have to decide which are the top ten irritants and publish them before the end of 2007. Staff will be told what is to be done to remove or reduce them. Publication of the irritants will reveal common themes which can be tackled across the board.
There will also be a purge on information gathering by front line staff. This will focus on reducing duplicate or unnecessary information requests by Departments and rationalising the way information is collected so that form-filling is reduced and administration time cut back.
Frontline staff will also be given a clear mechanism to challenge bureaucracy that doesn’t work and urged to put forward suggestions for cutting red tape in their day to day work. Suggestions can be sent direct to the Cabinet Office website: www.betterregulation.gov.uk
The anti bureaucracy strategy is part of a Government wide initiative to devolve power and move away from micro-management. Targets for local government have been cut from 800 to 200. Ofsted have reduced the length and frequency of their inspections. In the schools sector, the New Relationship with Schools was formulated in response to a review of unnecessary bureaucracy. It aims to lift bureaucratic burdens that schools feel add nothing to their core purposes. The DfES has agreed a Concordat with further education collages which simplifies data collection and quality assurance. The Department for Health has reduced the amount of data they collect by 28 per cent.