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US MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO HELP IMPROVE PUBLIC SERVICES

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An innovative performance management system developed in the US can be tailored to the particular circumstances of ...
An innovative performance management system developed in the US can be tailored to the particular circumstances of Scotland's public sector to help deliver more effective and efficient public services, the finance minister said today.

The Citistat performance management model was pioneered by the City of Baltimore, based on the CompStat program used by the New York City Police Department. It uses up-to-date operational information as the basis for regular meetings between the officials with overall responsibility for key areas of work and the leaders of an organisation. The aim is to improve performance through effective channels of accountability.

The Executive set up pilots of the Citistat performance management system in

two local authorities, City of Edinburgh and Aberdeen City and two NHS boards, Tayside and Ayrshire & Arran. The pilots ran from September 2005 for six months.

Findings from the evaluation of the pilots include:

* The model can be adapted to Scotland's public sector and can respond to local circumstances

* The process improves the quality of information and makes it easier to understand and scrutinise that information

* Improved quality of information and regular meetings to scrutinise performance allows active follow up, overseen by senior management, and better results

Fiance minister Tom McCabe said:

'The first minister asked the Executive to look at the feasibility of using the Citistat system in Scotland in 2004, following his visit to Baltimore where he saw first-hand the positive impact it can have on an organisation's performance management.

'We piloted the system in local authorities and this research shows the Citistat system can be effectively used across Scotland's public sector to improve performance and provide better value for taxpayers. It was successful during the pilots in cutting out inefficient processes and driving up standards in both NHS and local authority services.

'We want public sector bodies to be aware of the potential of Citistat and consider this research. Citistat sits alongside our wider reform agenda and Efficient Government programme. This is an innovative approach to performance management that could help play a part in transforming public services for the people of Scotland.'

Health minister Andy Kerr said:

'Only recently I sat in on one of NHS Tayside's regular Citistat meetings. Having seen how it works first hand there is no doubt it's a very effective way of ensuring managers and staff keep their eye on the ball.

'I was particularly impressed by the way the board are able to take specific problem areas and, by applying close scrutiny to performance, make sure those responsible respond and find solutions.'

'This suggests to me extended use of Citistat could provide improvements in service delivery; quicker decision making; increased accountability of service provision; and better use of performance management information.'

CitiStat is a performance management system based on the CompStat program pioneered in the New York City Police Department. After helping the NYPD reduce crime it is currently used by a number of police departments around the world. CitiStat was pioneered in the City of Baltimore by Mayor O'Malley, and is used to monitor and improve the performance of public services.

Following his visit to Baltimore in April 2004, the first minister asked the Scottish Executive to examine the feasibility of deploying the CitiStat system of performance management of public services in the Scottish public sector.

The pilot project forms part of the Efficient Government initiative.

The Executive commissioned Research for Real to evaluate the CitiStat pilot in Scotland between June 2005 and April 2006. The evaluation was conducted by Dr Cathy Sharp, Jocelyn Jones, and Alison M. Smith. Professor Susan Weil from the Social and Organisational Learning as Action Research (SOLAR) team at the University of the West of England assisted the team and co-facilitated a CitiStat Exchange Inquiry event. An action research approach to the evaluation was used. The emphasis in action research is on collaboration between all those involved in the inquiry, so that the knowledge developed in the inquiry process is directly relevant to the issues being studied.

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