Cabinet Office Minister Ian McCartney today urged public sector workers to embrace change in the drive to modernise public services.
In a speech at the "Delivering modernised government - strategy into action" conference, Mr McCartney appealed to civil servants and public servants to continue taking the initiative and modernise government by coming up with workable strategies and solutions.
Ian McCartney praised civil servants for policies recently translated into action. He highlighted a range of programmes where their proactive approach had already made a difference to peoples' lives, such as:
- CCTV installed in Newham, which has significantly brought down street-crime;
- The 20 NHS walk in centres, which offer a 'no appointment necessary' service, accommodating the demand from patients for out of office surgery; and
- A Rough Sleepers Unit that aims to bring down the number of people sleeping rough by two thirds by 2002.
He also said the Government was committed to helping public sector workers get the skills and tools they needed to undertake change management.
The roll-out of a major new series of seminars and courses, to enable civil servants to meet the target of getting all Government services online by 2005, is one example said the Minister.
[email protected] seminars, run by Centre for Management and Policy Studies, will focus on developing stronger leadership as well as people and organisational skills needed to foster the right approach to technology.
Seminars will include government IT projects, risk management and corporate governance. In November, a seminar will deal with the Ministerial role for managing major IT projects. The aim is to build on the key recommendations of the report 'Successful IT: Modernising Government in Action'.
Mr McCartney said, "All too often people, including politicians, run down public services and the people working in them. But all manner of improvements are being made that give a better deal for citizens."
"Many public services had improved thanks to the application of new technologies which have made it much easier for people of all ages to get the information - and the results - that they want."
"Others have moved ahead because of closer attention to traditional values such as listening carefully to what customers want - and then delivering."
"Investment is obviously key. That's why in July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the biggest investment in public services of modern times. This is a huge opportunity for everyone who works in public services."
"But with that opportunity comes a real responsibility - a responsibility to use those resources effectively, efficiently and imaginatively."
"We are determined to support the public sector in that drive. The raft of new courses for senior civil servants and Ministers will help to speed up the rate of e-cultural change in the civil service."
"The twin goals are to make civil service jobs easier by banishing bureaucracy and create easy-to-access government services."