PASC on Good Government


The Public Administration Select Committee today publishes its report (and evidence sessions) on Good Government.

I have reproduced the main recommendations below, their analysis is well worth reading.

Especially pleasing is that they have accepted my proposal (see section 5 of the Report) that the remit of the National Audit Office be expanded to something more like that of the General Accountability Office in the USA – and specifically it takes on a role assessing the performance of government Ministries and departments.

MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS

i. Good people: government needs to recruit and cultivate the right people so that they are able to deploy their skills and abilities effectively to the work of government. This applies equally to government ministers, civil servants and public servants more generally.

ii. Good process: this means ensuring that appropriate structures, systems and procedures are in place for government to run smoothly—whether for the development of sound policies and legislation, successful policy implementation or for competent day-to-day administration of routine government business.

iii. Good accountability: adequate arrangements need to exist to ensure that people within government—both elected and appointed—are held to account for their decisions, actions and performance. One important prerequisite for proper accountability is the existence of defined roles and responsibilities so that it is clear who can be held responsible for what.

iv. Good performance: effective performance assessment within government helps to identify how well public organisations are meeting their objectives, as well as highlighting where improvements could be made, so that government is better able to work towards its desired outcomes.

v. Good standards: high ethical standards in public life are vital to ensuring basic public trust and confidence in governing institutions. Strong ethical regulation and ethical leadership in turn underpin the achievement of high standards.

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About Prof. Colin Talbot

Professor of Government (Emeritus). Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, England.
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One Response to PASC on Good Government

  1. Sandra Beach says:

    Thanks for this report Colin. It would be interesting to know the comparison between UK and Australia.

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