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uk: government or chaos? December 19, 2010

Posted by Bradley in : governance , trackback

After the student demonstrations, one UK Tory MP who claims to have been an influential adviser to Cameron argues chaos is preferable to planning (I don;t think he meant more demonstrations would be a good thing). Meanwhile, snow causes actual chaos (and cancelled my flight to the UK); and the high court holds that limits on skilled immigrants from outside the EU were adopted without the proper procedures. This doesn’t really sound like good government. The Public Administration Select Committee wrote in 2009 that good government involved:

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.

It would be good to see this.

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