Committee to probe Public Services Reform

Public services reform is to be examined by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee, which has announced a call for evidence today for the first part of what will be a three-strand inquiry running throughout 2012.
The first strand ­– partnership and outcomes – is to look at how local councils work with their community planning partners like the police, NHS boards and local communities in developing single outcome agreements and how this process can evolve and develop. The Committee will start taking oral evidence in mid February 2012.
The second strand – expected to take place next summer – focuses on benchmarking – the process of comparing performance in the same service area across different councils.  The final strand, scheduled for later in 2012, will look at some of the options in shared services and other innovative ways of delivering council and other services.
Committee Convener Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:
“Following the recent work by the Christie Commission, this is a very rapidly moving field. That’s why the Committee has decided to break its work in this area into three parts, so that at each stage we can be completely up to date with what’s happening across the public sector. Local government will be central to whatever developments are around the corner in public sector reform, so it is essential that the Committee has a thorough examination of the issues as this agenda develops.”
MSP for Dunfermline, Bill Walker, said:
“Councils and their local partners face significant challenges over the coming years in adapting to changes in the public sector while continuing to provide the services that the public wants. The three strands of this inquiry will help the sector and others to be clear both about the successes and the challenges that remain to be faced as the public sector continues its process of reform.”

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