Presentation on theme: "“Drummond Report” Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services Public Services for Ontarians: A Path to Sustainability and Excellence 485 pages."— Presentation transcript:
“Drummond Report” Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services Public Services for Ontarians: A Path to Sustainability and Excellence 485 pages
Serving Customers, Clients or Citizens? Week 7
Tensions within “Service Transformation” “service transformation does not represent a straightforward and coherent administrative reform agenda, but is rife with ambiguities, dilemmas, tensions and contradictions” (2010: 12).
Different goals of “Service Transformation” “the relative emphasis placed on different service transformation goals and strategies has varied across sectors and jurisdictions” “these variations have had profound implications for the ways in which the public experiences public services” (2010: 12).
Customers, Clients or Citizens? “it is possible and useful to categorize service transformation efforts according to how they imagine the identity of the service-user.” “The three most important identities are customer, client and citizen” (Dutil et al., 2010: 12).
Customers, Clients or Citizens? “We argue public service users are increasingly perceived and treated in Canada as customers, with lessening regard to the potential importance of client and citizen relationships” (Dutil et al., 2010: 13).
Customers or engaged citizens? “despite new opportunities that service transformation presents for enhancing democratic citizen engagement and the power of clients, it is the ‘customer’ that is likely triumphant” (Dutil et al., 2010: 13). “information and communications technology open up so many different opportunities for engagement” (Dutil et al., 2010: 13).
‘Customer’ service “The terminology of ‘customer’ came to represent an approach to public administration preoccupied with enhancing convenience and choice for service users” (Dutil et al., 2010: 14). “market-inspired models of the citizen as ‘customer’ of government products and services” (Dutil et al., 2010: 31).
Contradictions of the ‘agency’ movement “On the one hand, agencies have been proposed to promote specialization, flexibility and responsiveness to local customer groups, moving away from standardized, one-size-fits-all models” “second contradictory set of customer service imperatives pushing the creation of agencies. This is the movement for integrated one-stop-shops, justified on the grounds that the ‘customer’ prefers to obtain all their services from government in one convenient (real or virtual) location” (Dutil et al., 2010: 14).
‘client’ relations Rather than simply being a synonym for customer, client can “describe specifically those individuals who depend on assistance and support provided through government human and social service social systems” (Dutil et al., 2010: 17). “A consistent theme running through the literature on human services is the suggestion that client- based service delivery should be ‘democratized’” (Dutil et al., 2010: 17).
Engaging the ‘citizen’ “the potential of service transformation to contribute to a broader strengthening of the democratic potential of service recipients and other individuals in the community as citizens” (Dutil et al., 2010: 21). “the Internet has ushered in a plethora of hope and rhetoric for online engagement and renewal” (Dutil et al., 2010: 29).
“obstacles” to service transformation “bureaucratic resistance to the modernization and integration of services” “dilemmas and trade-offs associated with responding to service users’ demands in complex policy areas including health and social services” “ongoing resource limitations” (Dutil et al., 2010: 32).
dilemmas in service transformation “The first concerns the attempt to impose the customer identity at the expense of alternatives.” “the standardized customer model conflicts with the growing interest, especially within human and social services in ‘individualized service delivery’ and in enhancing the voice of each client in the service interaction” (Dutil et al., 2010: 48)
dilemmas in service transformation “the organizational realities surrounding service delivery” (Dutil et al., 2010: 49). Tension between centralization (one stop shopping) and push for decentralization, specialization and outsourcing Plus there is the “politics of branding associated with service integration” (Dutil et al., 2010: 50).
Progress in Canada? “limited progress beyond streamlining of simple transactional services” “an almost universal disinterest on the part of politicians” “an absence of meaningful citizen involvement in service improvement” (Dutil et al., 2010: 32).
An alternative critique of bureaucracy The dominant critique of the bureaucratic state has led to the various attempts to run government more like a business. Advocates of democratic administration present a different or alternative vision of the state.
Bureaucracy is a problem The political attack on the state that resulted in downsizing, privatization and the “new public management” was ideologically driven but it was facilitated by public distrust and discomfort with the bureaucratic state.
Lack of public support The attack on the welfare state “had some appeal even among those who were most dependent on the welfare state, who needed its benefits but did not feel that the public agencies who dispensations and services and regulations they depended on really belonged to them, were theirs to influence or control.” – Leo Panitch
A new kind of state “The real issue of our time is not less state versus more state, but rather a different kind of state.” - Leo Panitch
The problem with bureaucracy Advocates of democratic administration criticize the bureaucratic state because it is: undemocratic elitist (and sexist, racist) secretive, alienating, oppressive to public rigid and unable to tap into the knowledge or experience of frontline workers or the public
Undemocratic administration “Democracy is above all about popular rule, equality, and active citizenship; yet the public sector is organized as a hierarchical, quasi- military chain of control, rules, and regulations for the distribution of public goods and services.” – Greg Albo
Control by experts “The modern state has depended, as a basic operational rule, on monopolizing knowledge in the hands of professional experts – lawyers, doctors, social workers – who, instead of contributing to independence and choice, often control their ‘clients’ by fostering dependence upon expertise.” – Greg Albo
What is Democratic Administration? According to Lorne Sossin: The core value of democratic administration is citizen empowerment.
Citizen empowerment Sossin argues that citizen empowerment involves two related issues: ensuring the accountability of the state and the bureaucracy to the public (not to upper levels of the bureaucracy or cabinet) public participation in decision-making and the implementation of government policies and programs
Government by the people, for the people “Democratic administration...raises the fundamental question, namely, how to transform people from the object into the subject of government” – Lorne Sossin “Long-term improvement of service delivery is contingent upon input from user groups” – Greg Albo
Transforming the State What changes are needed? less secrecy in government, more openness and transparency greater decentralization of decision-making and service delivery less rigid structures and procedures, more flexibility new forms of public participation and public overview (citizen boards, community groups, client committees)
Engaging the Public Who is the public? What does public participation mean? Advocates of democratic administration recognize inequalities within civil society (in money, education, time, political efficacy). To facilitate public participation, the state must play a role in funding organizations of disadvantaged groups, organizing unrepresented interests and seeking out the voices of the marginalized.
Organizing the Public “The task of democratic leaders and administrators, the skill they have to learn, is to encourage and facilitate the organization of communities of identity and interest. This is the sole way in which people who as individuals are isolated and powerless can develop collective power – which the process of participation can then harness in democratic decision-making” – Leo Panitch
Public participation There are indications that the public wants a stronger role in decision-making. Charlottetown Accord referendum 1992 BC Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform
Democratic Administration and Participatory Democracy in Action Mainstream attempts to develop more democratic forms of public administration have been very timid, limited and contradictory. US “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” programs in the 1960s Trudeau’s “Just Society” and “participatory democracy” initiatives beginning in the late 60s
Democratic Administration and Participatory Democracy in Action Advocates of democratic administration have pointed to a few isolated but celebrated examples (or small islands) of democratic administration: Greater London Council (UK) early 1980s developed a Popular Planning Unit Participatory Budget process (most notably in Porto Alegre, Brazil beginning in 1989)
A new kind of public administration “democratic administration posits a new ideal- type of public administration, one that aims at attachment rather than detachment, relationships rather than isolation, transparency rather than secrecy, flexibility rather than rigidity.” – Lorne Sossin
Customers, Clients or Citizens? How should students be perceived in their role as recipients of public education? Customers, Clients or Citizens?