Consistency and Fairness in Administration

Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon

in A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less?

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780199687022
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191766930 | DOI:
Consistency and Fairness in Administration

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Chapter 6 considers administrative performance in the sense of indicators of perceived unfairness, inconsistency, or sloppy administration. These indicators were chosen because some critics of New Public Management see ‘rule of law’ aspects of administration as threatened by cost-cutting managerialism, and because fairness and consistency is a valid indicator of government performance irrespective of particular policy choices. Accordingly, the analysis focuses on the changing incidence over thirty years of formal complaints to ombudsmen and legal challenges to government decisions (judicial review), which are a relatively technology-free way of assessing administrative performance over a period of major technological change and also of getting precisely at those rule of law issues raised by critics of New Public Management. The analysis suggests a mixed picture, but one that is in overall terms hard to reconcile with improved fairness and consistency in public administration over the period.

Keywords: performance; New Public Management; rule of law; judicial review; ombudsmen; complaints; consistency; fairness

Chapter.  8690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics ; Comparative Politics

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