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PERFORMANCE TARGETS MAKE PUBLIC SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS A SUCCESS - McCARTNEY

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Performance targets can help the public sector work together in a ...
Performance targets can help the public sector work together in a

more joined up way, according to a new report launched today by

Cabinet Office minister Ian McCartney.

The interim report on the 'Measurement and performance project

(MAPP)', sets out its findings on how performance targets are used to

support partnership working.

Mr McCartney said: 'This government is taking bold and determined measures to promote partnership working. We are putting the needs of public service users first and their needs don't always fit into neat

organisational boxes.

'That is why partnership is absolutely central to our vision of

modernising government. It's about working smarter, about co-operation and not isolation.

'Partnerships allow the pooling and sharing of expertise and knowledge, as well as closer co-operation between agencies so that

they work together and aren't pulled in different directions.

'Our vision of partnership goes beyond the public sector. We are committed to finding the best partner to work with, whether from

the public, private or voluntary sector.'

The report's key findings are:

* where performance targets act as incentives to partnership working,

it is because they support shared aims and objectives;

* a need for greater co-ordination at regional and national levels

between government departments in agreeing targets;

* better communication between central government departments and

local organisations to communicate targets effectively to local

organisations;

* a need to consult and involve the local community in the work of

partnership initiatives and setting local targets; and

* targets must be set using robust information with a proper

baseline.

Mr McCartney also outlined action being carried out in the Cabinet

Office to implement the findings of the report, which include:

* producing a summary of best practice guidance on the MAPP website,

to help MAPP partnership networks learn from the experiences of one

another;

* setting up an e mail bulletin board as a tool for sharing best

practice throughout the MAPP partnership network; and

* producing a checklist of points for ministers and government

departments to consider when developing performance and information

requirements.

Mr McCartney also said that front-line staff must be at the

fore-front of the government drive to encourage innovation and

partnership, as well as the importance of embracing change and

finding better ways of working to meet public service needs, putting

the emphasis on delivery, not processes.

NOTES

1. Ian McCartney was speaking at the second MAPP network event on

Wednesday 17 November, in London. The event was to discuss findings

and recommendations of the interim report and to identify future

priorities for MAPP. Participants were from partnerships involved in

MAPP and others who have contributed to the report and the project

steering group.

2. The interim report considers how performance measures act as

barriers and incentives to joint working, using six case studies. It

concentrates on:

* investigating whether performance measures act as barriers or

incentives to multi-agency working to deliver public services;

*supporting multi-agency working in using performance measures and

targets; and

* assessing how central government departments could improve the way they use performance measures and targets for monitoring and evaluation of initiatives delivered through multi-agency working.

3. Copies of the report are available from the Modernising Public Services Group on 0171 270 6042. It is also available on the internet at: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/eeg/1999/mapp.htm

4. The project is expected to be completed by Autumn 2000.

5. MAPP was launched on 27 April 1999 by the Cabinet Office. It

aims to understand and improve the use of performance measures and

targets in multi-agency working.

6. The MAPP partnership network is a group of multi-agency

partnerships, established under existing initiatives and overseen by

a steering group. The partnerships include a wide range of public,

private and voluntary sector organisations and are listed below:

* East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Drug Action Team;

* Bradford Health Action Zone;

* Bradford Crime & Disorder Partnership;

* Herefordshire & Worcestershire Business Link;

* Lewisham Challenge Partnership; and

* West Devon Environmental Network.

7. The MAPP website can be found at:

www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/eeg/1999/mapp.htm

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