Comparative Perspectives on Performance

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:
Comparative Perspectives on Performance

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Chapter 7 compares UK central government cost and performance with other countries in such cross-national benchmarking studies as are available, with English local government (often said to embody different approaches and cultures), with central executive agencies at arms-length from central departments, and with the Scottish group of departments and agencies which arguably comprise an administrative culture distinctive from that in the rest of the UK. The analysis reveals little evidence that the UK was a notable outlier in cross-national comparisons of quality and efficiency. It also shows relatively little evidence of difference in running costs or administrative performance between UK central government and the other comparators, particularly if attention is placed on ‘slopes’ rather than ‘levels’ in comparison. That analysis raises questions as to whether higher running costs and increasing complaints and litigation are a general condition of public administration today rather than peculiar to UK central government.

Keywords: Scotland; local government; executive agencies; running costs; benchmarking; culture; comparators

Chapter.  9671 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics ; Comparative Politics

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