A think-tank report examined civil service reform, based on interviews with ministers in the coalition government, ministers in the previous administration, existing non-executive directors, existing and former officials, and special advisers. The interviews identified three structural causes of the inadequate performance of Whitehall departments: a style of employment and career planning that rotated people between roles too frequently; a failure to act on performance, whether to penalize poor performance or reward the good; and an absence of will and experience on the part of ministers to drive change in Whitehall.
Source: Andrew Haldenby, Tara Majumdar, and Greg Rosen, Whitehall Reform: The view from the inside, Reform
A new book examined organizational productivity in central government agencies. It analyzed taxation, social security, and regulatory agencies, and explored the role of information technology and management changes in National Health Service hospitals. Productivity growth in public services was closely linked to information technology modernization, allied with business process reorganization.
Source: Patrick Dunleavy and Leandro Carrera, Growing the Productivity of Government Services, Edward Elgar Publishing
An article examined scrutiny processes in three national audit bodies, three service inspectorates, and two inquiry committees. Judgement processes were analyzed along five dimensions: intuitive to analytical thinking; implicit to explicit assessment criteria; inductive and deductive methods; internal and external validity; and the principles used to make and evaluate judgements. These processes varied considerably, suggesting the need for a broader conception of the nature of and influences on scrutiny processes one that recognized the inherent tensions in these processes, and the skills required by those who engaged in them.
Source: Sandra Nutley, Ruth Levitt, William Solesbury, and Steve Martin, 'Scrutinizing performance: how assessors reach judgements about public services', Public Administration, Volume 90 Issue 4