Current Good Practices and New Developments in Public Sector Service Management

Current Good Practices and New Developments in Public Sector Service Management You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Jan 2002
9781848597761 (PDF)

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This is an update to the 1996 portfolio and continues to provide a framework for building and sustaining effective public service organisations, based on current good practice and the wide experience of senior public sector managers throughout the Commonwealth. The second edition contains much of the original material, now updated together with several new sections. The Portfolio update is designed to be used as a companion resource to the Public Service Country Profiles which. Together the documents can be used as a basis for benchmarking to compare activities and best practice across different national settings.

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  • Acknowledgements

    This publication is the product of some remarkable co-operation and some very generous assistance from experts who have given their time and knowledge as a signal of their commitment to the improvement of the public service in the Commonwealth.

  • Foreword

    Since the production of the Commonwealth Portfolio in 1996, there have been many meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government and various workshops, seminars and roundtables held by public service practitioners, scholars and researchers, politicians and non-government organisations in an effort to improve the delivery of services to the public. From these meetings and conferences various ideals and values for improving the public service were proposed such as the Rule of Law, Just and Honest Government, Public/Private Sector and Civil Society Partnerships. The role of practitioners has been, amongst other objectives, to translate such ideals into workable and practical solutions and guidelines for implementation. As a result, various attempts and initiatives have been made to institutionalise activities and programmes of action into the administrative machinery of the public sector as a whole.

  • Introduction

    This update to the 1996 Commonwealth Portfolio is intended to serve as a guide to good managerial and organisational design practices in areas of topical concern to senior public service officials and politicians in the Commonwealth. It is hoped that the material reflects current thinking and developments in public sector management and administration, and in the delivery of services to citizens. The Portfolio is based on the assumption that sharing experiences within a framework of similar values in Commonwealth countries is an important contribution to continuous improvement and learning in public service development. The format is designed to provide practitioners rather than external experts with the ability to drive the debate on good practices in public service management

  • Making the Most of Staff

    The mission of a public or private sector organisation captures its overall purposes, what it exists for, and what it intends to achieve within its area of operation and responsibility.

  • Making Government More Efficient

    Organisational structure is the link between the organisation's mission and its actual practices. Organisational structure is the overall shape of the entity - its layers, its spans of control, and its relationships with its flinders and customers. Unlike changes to management and work practices, changing organisational structure is not adjusting an existing pattern for a better fit, it is a change of the pattern itself.

  • Improving the Quality of Services
  • Improving Partnerships with Organisations/Agencies Outside Government

    The strength of the public service can be judged by its ability to ensure the provision of achievable, realistic and timely policy advice to government. A government needs, although might not always welcome, sound guidance on how and to what extent its desired objectives might be best met. The public service is the primary provider of such policy advice. However, it is argued with increasing force that if the public service is the only source of such advice, then it will inevitably show some degree of bias in order to minimise disruption for itself in the future.

  • Making Management More Effective

    Management development is the means by which leadership in the public service is renewed and strengthened at a time of continuous change in the environment in which the service must operate. A strategic approach ensures that the need for management development is structured into all planning decisions.

  • Improving the Management of Finance

    The public service is responsible for protecting the value of the physical and financial assets owned by the government. Failure to maintain buildings or property, allowing their value to fall, and failure to protect financial assets from misappropriation or from devaluation, represent failures of stewardship.

  • Improving Policy Making

    Policy analysis refers to the entire range of activities through which policy is developed and provided. In ideal terms, this starts with an appraisal of the options before consulting with interested stakeholders and subsequent decisions and implementation. This ideal cycle is completed with the evaluation and reappraisal of policy outcomes.

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