In the UK, the uneven performance of public services, ranging from extremely good to very poor, is one of the biggest brakes on opportunity and wellbeing. Those on the lowest incomes continue to suffer the worst outcomes, despite the fact that public services in their current form were created to support everyone in society.

Conversely, public service success underpins economic growth. Poorer performance, where it exists, reduces that growth and prevents citizens from sharing in it. In the longer term, the value for money achieved by public services will determine whether the UK’s public finances continue to recover from the financial crisis or deteriorate again.

Reform means great change for the public sector workforce. Some will oppose the reductions in headcount that will, at times, go together with greater productivity. Others will embrace the opportunities that greater innovation and much reduced central direction will bring.

By delivering better value, reform keeps public finances sustainable. Just as importantly, a focus on value leads to improvements in services themselves.

Reform breaks down its research programme into the following categories:

  • How to run a countrycovering reform of Civil Service, Parliament, central government departments, local and regional government


Andrew Haldenby