The public service:
- implements political will;
- helps politicians make good decisions;
- looks after government.
And in order to do so well, it must be:
- highly responsive to political direction;
- dedicated to the public good;
A well run public service has the following strengths:
- more public access to information;
- direct accountability to the public for explanations;
- public involvement in decision making;
- operations run in the public interest, rather than for private profit;
- responsiveness to new and emerging problems and emergencies;
- better value for money;
- higher and more reliable standards of service;
- accumulated expertise and institutional memory.
The public service should be integrated, not fragmented, so it can avoid the following problems:
- confusion, obscured accountability and reduced public participation;
- less political control;
- reduced capacity to make changes and deal with challenges;
- increased duplication and waste;
- less informed and effective government.
These problems are not resolved by contracting out, which is:
- hard to control;
- serves the interests of the contractor, not the public;
- risks corruption;
- gives a false sense of security;
- weakens the public service.