Speaking at today's launch, Dawn Primarolo said: 'The PSBS is a good practice exchange for public servants that will link central and local government and the NHS. Using the PSBS a manager in one part of public service can seek out and learn from good practice in other parts. By avoiding the waste of reinventing the wheel, the PSBS will enable us to concentrate on improving quality and efficiency in the public sector.'
The PSBS will provide a new web and helpdesk based focal point that will facilitate a greater exchange of ideas and knowledge in the public sector. It will provide a comprehensive advisory service for anyone working in the public sector, explaining processes, finding potential partners and putting people in touch with others who have undertaken similar exercises.
The DVLA has already made use of the system, approaching the PSBS when taking a look at contact centres - it was partnered with a company in the private sector as well as the Office of National Statistics and the Inland Revenue.
Cabinet office minister Ian McCartney praised the partnership between the cabinet office and customs & excise as an excellent example of joined up government in action.
He urged public sector managers to encourage their staff to use the PSBS and to learn from it, saying: 'The PSBS is a great opportunity for public servants to find out what works for improving services and how to make the most of their
particular skills and talents. This is a real opportunity for sharing knowledge and making things happen. Ultimately it means greater job satisfaction for public servants and better services for citizens.'
The PSBS complements Modernising Government (Cm 4310, March 1999) and is a partnership between HM customs & excise and the cabinet office.
The creation of the PSBS was announced by Ian McCartney (minister of state at the cabinet office) on February 3rd 2000.
The PSBS website first went on-line in November and has already attracted thousands of visitors. The website address is: www.benchmarking.gov.uk.
The PSBS will support and assist each of the government's public service reform initiatives- better quality services in central government, best value in local government and the NHS plans. It complements and enhances other good practice initiatives and benchmarking clubs.