RSE response on public services reform
The RSE has responded to the Scottish Parliament Local Government and Regeneration Committee’s inquiry into public services reform. The RSE believes that any significant programme of reform should be driven by an “outcomes based” approach, i.e. one that focuses on what services are to be delivered and what the services are designed to achieve. Effectiveness should be the first consideration of an outcomes based approach.
The RSE recognises that the current pressures on public finances does require the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to examine the opportunities for more financially efficient delivery of public services. However, this should not be the only measure by which public services are judged. The outcomes for people, communities and businesses in Scotland all need to be foremost in considering any programme of reform.
It is possible to achieve partnerships between organisations with parallel responsibilities, but only if a buy-in to shared outcomes has been worked upon in advance. Shared trust in the service outcomes is vital in such shared services. Transcending and cooperating across Local Authority boundaries is challenging and requires a buy-in to the process at political and senior officer level.