Headlines: March 30th, 2012

The Cabinet Office update on Open Public Services sets out a renewed vision for delivering the highest quality public services. But it ignores the changes likely to shape public services of the future.

The update paper gives a progress report on the 2011 White Paper and charts the way forward in areas such as giving greater choice and creating a stronger role for communities. But no mention is made of the way that the Troubled Families programme and the Community Budgets initiative are creating opportunities for the development of radically different
business models for service delivery.

described how these developments, which are being steered by Communities and Local Government, move away from a silo approach to join up all services and skill sets; tackling the root cause of problems, not simply dealing with their effects; investing up front for savings later; and providing a cash incentive to councils when targets are achieved. The Troubled Families programme is a testbed for reshaping public services.

The update paper was produced in the Cabinet Office and the absence of any mention of the significance of this work leads to the conclusion that there is a communication gap within Government or that it is not considered to be significant in the broader picture. Whatever the reason for the omission, it does not inspire confidence.