Business All countries worldwide have got a very important factor in common: a primary public service coupled with a special range of employment polices. Even the conventional model of a government is not intrinsically flawed; it has its purpose as being a one-shop comprehensive service agency. Such conventional roles generally come to bear in times of social or economic crisis, budgetary stress or extreme political changes, but lose its momentum the moment times stabilize. Experience demonstrates that around the world the phenomenon called Public Sector Reform (PSR) with the consequence of New Public Management (NPM) will come up at some point in time. Then the impetus for change emanates from numerous sources which puts stress on governments adjusting to new situations, new capabilities and new relationships between citizens and governments. The population becomes increasingly concerned about the quality of the services they receive and the options open to them. Like all other structure changes with time, we rightfully count on an evolution in the public sector. Is that positive or negative? Well, it depends Since I have done a substantial variety of these Public Sector Reform projects and I am following the discussions and developments since several years, I have learned several lessons: 1. The public service is special in its organisational, financial and social regulations. Often instruments or concepts from the private sector are followed irrespective of the context and/or the comprehension of the inherent restrictions and weakness of such instruments when applied to the public sector. Understanding the characteristics of the public administration system is helpful before attempting to reform it: Modernising government structure requires an understanding of the nature and dynamics of the public administration system as a whole and how it operates as part of society reflecting its unique history, culture and institutional structure. 2. Adopting a whole-of-government approach to public sector reform is necessary. As said before comprehending the public administration system is important, but it takes a whole-of-government approach to reform – in other words, it is actually required to recognize and view both public administration and governance structures as section of an interconnected whole. Government operates in a unified structural setting under a common legislation, and its performance is influenced by the relationship of a variety of players. Hence, in order to be successful, the basic structure must be set as modifications in part of the system definitely will have an influence on others. 3. A number of different approaches to Public Sector Reform do exist, all afflicted with different degrees of social acceptability. Structural Reforms are one set of measures Structural NPM reform mechanisms contain breaking up a public institution through horizontal or vertical specialization while a vertical change induces a trend in direction of much more independent departments, agencies and state-owned enterprises. The horizontal reform element increases the specialty of organisational units, i.e. every single unit deals only with ownership, regulation, purchasing or internal administration and so on. However, remember the whole-of-government method: a mixture of these vertical and horizontal reform measures may perhaps lead to structural fragmentation and rather a reformed chaos. Changing the organization of service provision is another measure One idea is that if services cannot be improved in the public sector, somebody else must provide them. This motion bears a certain degree of reasoning, in particular when it comes to supplying purely operational services like utilities, transport or e.g. public works. The public service has the obligation to insure that these services are accessible; typically it does not say anywhere that the public service must physically do all of them. Large scale, business-like functions usually belong into the hand of the private sector, simply because public structures and regulations are typically prohibitive to cost effective services delivery. Through measures like marketization, competition and privatization many governing bodies have not only removed themselves from commercial service delivery, but have also withdrawn from its ownership. This results in a considerably altered mode of government interventions. Has it made the public service leaner? In reality not really, but the focus has changed from service provision to regulatory functions like – pollution, health, safety, corporate governance, environmental protection, data matching, protection of minorities, global terrorism, credit control, commercial law, consumer protection, product labelling, consumption taxes, means testing, illegal migration, control of the internet, and so on. At the same time, through technological improvements, government’s ability to accumulate information in these areas has also improved extensively. Even though the outsourcing of operational services makes sense in theory, one has to be quite careful taking shortcuts to efficiency increases. In the assignments I did over the years I have observed more than once that the individual – clearly ring-fenced – services could equally and efficiently be provided by the public service. This brings me to the third significant reform measure: Search for excellence These types of measures combine a degree a relaxation or change of the prevailing public service rules with the delegation of authority and autonomy. Three mainstream models are applied and have different results and consequences. One model suggests let the managers manage which allows for active, visible, discretionary control of the organization by people who are free to manage; explicit standards of performance; a increased focus on output control combined with private sector type management techniques. The second model makes managers manage and uses incentives to further particular decision-making behaviour. It implies increased exposure to competition, contract management and market orientation (contracting out, purchaser-provider models). A third kind of NPM reform model, connects to the two mentioned above, involves performance management, cost-cutting and budgetary discipline. The increased use of formal performance indicators represents an attempt to evaluate the functions of public organizations more extensively, while ex post scrutiny and auditing are methods of joining and comparing goals and actual results. The underlying principle is that good results are incentivized with pay and promotions while stagnation results in falling behind. Summary and Quintessence Coming from a Continental European background where the public service structure is not really as variable as elsewhere; it can be prohibitively costly to adjust the service conditions of public servants, let alone considering to outsource their activities or to retrench someone. It is definitely do-able, but the degree of motivation required is high. Therefore often the combined performance management is utilized first to determine that any remedial actions are justified and at the same time avoiding haphazard activism. With the correct vision, a comprehensive understanding of the public sector and the correct performance measuring tools, it scrutinises first Internal performance and ways to increase efficiency, then Corrective structural and/or organisational measures, before looking at Outsourcing of underperforming sectors, as the last resort. History and statistics show that a bottom-up approach is socially more appropriate and not less effective. It may possibly take a little bit longer, but proves to be more sustainable. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: