chapter  5
20 Pages

Quality, Surveillance and Performance Measurement

ByKieron Walsh

The changes in public sector management that have been introduced over the last few years are intended to create services that are more sensitive to the needs of the consumer, and in which providers are more accountable for performance. The logic of the approach, as laid out, for example, in the Citizen's Charter, is that the quality of public services will be improved by stating standards and setting objectives, measuring performance against targets, and taking remedial action where necessary. Wherever possible, markets or quasi-markets will be created so that citizen-consumers can exit from the service, just as they would exit if dissatisfied with something produced in the private sector and sold on the market. Citizens as consumers will then be able to make informed choices about the services that they receive, and producers will respond to the decisions of citizens in the way that private producers respond to customers in the market.