The Prime Minister has set out a cross-governmental vision for the improvement of public services with the launch of the Open Public Services White Paper. The paper brings together and reinforces the reform themes that have already been developed within individual departmental plans and the wider Big Society agenda.

  • A radical transfer of power from “bureaucrats” to services users through increased use of personal budgets, choice mechanisms, elected Police Commissioners etc;
  • Greater autonomy for frontline professionals through the removal of targets, inspection regimes and other top-down controls;
  • Opening up public services to new providers such as private providers, community organisations, social enterprises, charities and public sector mutuals; and
  • Commissioning for outcomes rather than process through increased use of payment by results mechanisms.

'Open Public Services: The Institute for Government briefing note' sets out the most important arguments behind the core themes and summarises the challenges that the Government will need to address if it is to successfully implement these reforms.