Mr Redwood’s contribution to the Statement on Civil Service Reform, 19 June

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): How will these reforms enable the civil service to deliver much higher quality and with greater accuracy, given the high error rates typical in areas such as benefit distribution?

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Mr Francis Maude): For a start, there needs to be better performance management and much better management information. It is a constant complaint that the quality of data is poor and inconsistent. It is hard to hold Departments and parts of Departments to account when we do not know how well they are performing. I point out to my right hon. Friend that when we turned MyCSP, the organisation that delivers the civil service pension scheme, into a joint venture mutual, its levels of productivity and accuracy, doing difficult processing work, improved markedly as it moved towards the vesting date.

1 Comment

  1. Alan Wheatley
    June 21, 2012

    Is the “joint venture mutual” a pointer for better management in other areas, not necessarily as a mutual as such but an arrangement where the interests of the parties provides the right incentive for efficiency?

    Those things that are inherently a monopoly, such as the utilities, Railtrack etc, do not work well as private companies where the public interest is “protected” by a regulator. The regulator usually knows less about the issues than those being regulated, and is ineffective. The regulator has no incentive for efficient operation of that being regulated, no motive for innovation and is more interested in protecting their own survival.

    OFCOM is a prime example. Telecoms would work much better if the infrastructure was nationalised and its administration was in the hands of a “mutual” of some sort run by the telecoms services providers. There is no point in encouraging competition over the infrastructure. Competition should be between the infrastructure users. Coach companies and the roads is not a particularly good analogy, but is the best I can think of.

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