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ACCOUNTABILITY ENABLER OR INHIBITOR OF INNOVATION IN SCOTTISH PUBLIC SERVICES?

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Presentation on theme: "ACCOUNTABILITY ENABLER OR INHIBITOR OF INNOVATION IN SCOTTISH PUBLIC SERVICES?"— Presentation transcript:

1 ACCOUNTABILITY ENABLER OR INHIBITOR OF INNOVATION IN SCOTTISH PUBLIC SERVICES?

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3 THE REFORM INHERITANCE Financial Management Initiative (FMI) Departmental Running Cost control Next Steps – Executive Agencies Market testing and contracting out Performance management/KPIs and targets Performance related pay Citizen’s Charter Continuity and Change Modernising Government

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5 RISK AND INNOVATION Risk aversion: the cultures of Parliament, Ministers and the civil service create a situation in which the rewards for success are limited and penalties for failure can be severe. The system is too often risk averse. Creating a more innovative and less risk-averse culture in the civil service Source: Modernising Government (1999) Cabinet Office Cm 4310

6 MORE RISK AVERSION ……….appropriate levels of risk taking Source: Excellence and Fairness: Achieving world class public services (2008) Cabinet Office Civil Servants and agency staff are widely seen as more risk-averse than private sector personnel Source: Achieving Innovation in Central Government Departments (2006) NAO

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8 WHAT THE UK GOVERNMENT SAYS Achieving world class services requires high performers to have the freedoms and flexibilities to respond to the needs of those who use the service and to drive innovation ….. Departments will ensure that incentives are in place to encourage innovation …… Government …has an important role to play …. ensuring that….incentives are in place to encourage innovation and appropriate levels of risk taking. It means unlocking the creativity and ambition of public sector workers to innovate …. Source: Excellence and Fairness: Achieving world class public services (2008) Cabinet Office

9 NATIONAL OUTCOMES We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people’s needs Source: National Performance Framework (Scottish Government)

10 INNOVATE IF YOU DARE You can score a 'high' if…..you can demonstrate greater contribution to the selected regional priority through adoption of new and sound ideas, technology, skills or methods of delivery which, at a minimum, are novel for the region in which the proposal is based. Note, however, that adopting an untried innovative approach, the risk of potential failure is increased and so this may be reflected in the score given against the Group 3 criteria - Demonstrate Feasibility. Source: Scotland Rural Development Programme (Scottish Government website)

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12 TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT …as a small, well-connected country, Scotland has the conditions to be a public sector hothouse for innovation – finding new solutions to old problems, and tackling emerging issues. ….We need to create a culture which recognises innovation, builds on it and spreads it around the system, and we need to ensure that we have the structures and incentives that allow innovation to flourish. Source: Transforming Government (2006) The Scottish Executive

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14 WHAT IS INNOVATION? An innovation is an idea, practice, or object perceived as new by an individual. It matters little….whether or not an idea is “objectively” new as measured by the lapse of time since its first use or discovery…If an idea seems new to the individual, it is an innovation. Rogers, E. and F. Shoemaker (1971) Communication of Innovation, NY A new method, idea, product, etc. Source: The Concise Oxford Dictionary

15 THE WHITEHALL INNOVATION HUB ….. a solution to a particular social, economic and environment problem those coming up with a solution tend to be close to the problem and to frontline staff new ways of working, new relationships and radical new ways of delivering public services - rather than new ideas or products collaboration is at the heart of public service innovation innovation has moved beyond improvement, which is more concerned with making existing systems work faster - and involves a redesign of systems, relationships and practices being galvanised by champions of change

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17 ACCOUNTABILITY = RESPONSIBILITY? “…….a Minister is "accountable" to Parliament for everything which goes on within his Department, in the sense that Parliament can call the Minister to account for it. The Minister is responsible for the policies of the Department…for the resources allocated….. But a Minister cannot sensibly be held responsible for everything which goes on in his Department in the sense of having personal knowledge and control of every action taken and being personally blameworthy when delegated tasks are carried out incompetently, or when mistakes or errors of judgement are made at operational level.” Source: Taking Forward Continuity and Change (1995)

18 ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY AND DELEGATION ….if Ministers were to be held personally responsible for every action of the Department, delegation and efficiency would be much inhibited……. Nor [must] Ministers..be expected to be personally responsible, in the sense of being creditworthy or blameworthy, for every action of their department. Source: Taking Forward Continuity and Change: (1995) In practice, you will have delegated authority widely, but cannot on that account disclaim responsibility. Memorandum to Accountable Officers in the Scottish Executive from the Principal Accountable Officer under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

19 ACCOUNTABILITY IN SCOTLAND Scottish Parliament –PR and 4 year Parliaments –PQs/Debates/Committees –Letters from MSPs to Ministers Published plans KPIs and targets –PfG/PA/ NPF/Scotland Performs –Business Plans and Annual Reports Inspection and Audit Outcome Agreements Media and FOI Elections to Health Boards

20 Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2007

21 ENABLED OR INHIBITED? Inhibited by KPIs/targets Short-termism Audit and inspection Bureaucracy Lack of space Command and control Lack of incentives Blame culture Galvanisers? Enabled by Outcomes Longer term-ism Crerar? Customer focus Technology Empowerment Partnership working Community planning?

22 CONCLUSION Inhibitors outweigh enablers We need –Real progress on outcomes and scrutiny –Political champions –New messages/new accountabilities –Mature approach to arm’s length delivery –Empowerment and trust –Incentives –End to the blame culture

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