A focus on outcomes is only meaningful when it is combined with clear and reliable information on performance. Transparency that delivers accessible and useful information on the performance of services and the outcomes they achieve is at the heart of our strategy for improving public services.
The independent Power of Information Task Force published its report on 2 March. The report contained 25 challenging recommendations to government aimed at improving the use of information in this new world. The Task Force’s work has been recognised internationally as providing a cutting-edge vision, with examples of what modern public service delivery might be.
The Government welcomes the task force’s vision, accepts its overall messages and will be responding on the detailed recommendations shortly. We are already taking steps to implement this vision and in 2009 we will seek to deliver the following:
Open information. To have an effective voice, people need to be able to understand what is going on in their public services. Government will publish information about public services in ways that are easy to find,easy to use, and easy to re-use, and will unlock data, where appropriate, through the work of the Office of Public Sector Information.
Open innovation. We will promote innovation in online public services to respond to changing expectations. The Government will seek to build on the early success of innovate.direct.gov.uk by building such innovation into the culture of public services and public sector websites.
Open discussion. We will promote greater engagement with the public through more interactive online consultation and collaboration. We will also empower professionals to be active on online peer-support networks in their area of work.
Open feedback. Most importantly, the public should be able to have a fair say about their services. The Government will publish best practice in engaging with the public in large numbers online, drawing on the experience of the www.showusabetterway.com competition and the www.londonsummit.gov.uk, as well as leading private sector examples like www.ideastorm.com.