George Garlick, Transparency and Productivity


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George Garlick, CEX of Durham and lead for the transparency and data strand of the productivity programme speaks at the Knowledge Hub conference

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George Garlick, Transparency and Productivity

  1. 1. KNOWLEDGE HUB: CONNECT, COLLABORATE, LEARN AND INNOVATE CONFERENCE: 1st March 2011 Transparency, Data and Productivity George Garlick: Chief Executive Durham
  2. 2. 1. Transparency: The Immediate Task For Local GovernmentCommitment to:• January publication of: – £500+ spend data (all but 1 councils have or will shortly publish) – Senior salaries (most councils have published) – Contracts over £500 ((just getting to grips with this one)• Initially, injunction don’t let best be enemy of the good but subsequent shift to wanting ‘machine readable’ format (ref. Government Transparency Guidelines).• Underscored by (Central) Government Public Data Principles.
  3. 3. 2. The Immediate Task For Local GovernmentIs this proving difficult:• Practicalities vary depending on systems, but achievable• Issues around: – Achieving comparability and consistent data quality: e.g. potential for using CIPFA categories for spend data. – Helping others make sense of the information – Ensuring security of personal data and certain types of confidential data; – Fraud protection: conflicting views and still to be resolved – Pragmatic details for example who is named in publishing salaries and related data.• Practitioner help available from the Local Government Group:• Also a Local Open Data community of practice
  4. 4. 3. So is this the end of that story?No:• There well be a legislative basis to the local transparency agenda with extensions to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations; and• A current consultation on a ‘Code of ‘Recommended’ Practice under Section 2(11) of the Local Government, Land and Planning Act 1980 ref publication of information by local authorities about the discharge of their functions and other matters – a significant extension to the range of data and information to be open and public, includes performance.
  5. 5. 4. Where is this headed?Underlying this:• A different form of accountability: less top down and target driven.• More about direct accountability to citizens with armchair auditors as catalysts.• Driven initially by concern to reduce spend and encourage challenge through scrutiny and question, but….
  6. 6. 5. Where is this headed?Scope for:• Developing the accountability agenda: opening upperformance and helping local politicians tell the local story;•Using data and information to support participatory as well aselective democracy – e.g. involving people in decisions aboutwhere and what to cut as budgets are reduced (e.g. the LondonBorough of Redbridge experience).•Using information as an enabler for Big Society: the process ofshifting the balance between state / citizen and unlockingcreativity: helping people do it for themselves.
  7. 7. 6. But some challenges in doing this…• Shifting mindsets and culture away from accepted notions of confidentiality and the use of statistics, whilst recognising the role for example of: – Data standards, e.g. for comparability purposes; yet – Creating space for ‘mashups’ and experimentation.• Fostering innovation at a time of austerity: e.g. generating the market for ‘applications’ – not just an developer activity: this should inform public service behaviour, e.g. real time provision of service information and citizen engagement / feedback;
  8. 8. 7. Productivity: the Other Side of the ChallengeLocal government is experiencing substantial cuts whichchallenges us to re-assess how local government and local publicservices manage and report on performance, and at the sametime, do so transparently.The Productivity agenda is supporting this through sector leddevelopment of systematic approaches to assess productivityand unit cost to give timely, robust, and comparable data to:• Inform service performance and corporate overheads, support selfassessment, drive savings and improve efficiency;• Offer a means to support challenge, e.g. from elected members; and• Contribute to benchmarking, and help stimulate public scrutiny, e.g. byoffering quicker and user friendly citizen access to data, recognising thattransparency is more than publishing spend data but a shift to greater andmore open accountability to citizens and customers.
  9. 9. 8. Productivity: What Are We Delivering?• Through the Local Government Group, we will offer a free of charge place for councils to lodge data providing: – Access to tools to systematically examine productivity and cost – Easy access to demographic and socio-economic data – On-line means to share experience – Access to analytical expertise• A facility to share and compare key data: – Efficiency and productivity metrics – Citizen satisfaction – Outcome and achievement measures• Help in offering citizens meaningful access to performance data.• Use the Knowledge Hub as a platform.
  10. 10. 9. How Will This Work?• Voluntary;• A service to and for councils (not re-creating the previous centralized system);• Potential for council cost savings by reducing overheads in managing data, but doesn’t stop councils using consultants if they wish.• Currently working in in depth with a number of councils and aim to launch the first stage in Spring of this year in what we see as a 2 – 3 year project.• If you want to know more contact: juliet.whitworth@local,
  11. 11. 10. The Model: An Aid to Decision MakingExample of user path from headline metrics down to analysisData Insight Insight Action1 2 3 4 Monitor chosen Understand in Explore productivity Take action to metrics context drivers improve• “How am I performing” “How do I compare?” “How can I identify “What actions should where to make I take?” improvements?”• Council leader or • Then click problem • Then explore • Use insight to service leader area to see drivers of improve decision selects summary progress over time performance by making and help metrics they want to and comparison to combining metrics take action monitor other councils Question to explore My metric over time, £’000 Driver A Case Study Driver B My council versus Driver C Peers, £’000 10 5 0 Driver D Driver E Driver F
  12. 12. 11. The tool will continue to develop over time using Local Government Group platform as the basisLaunch targets Spring 2012 Spring 2011 – Core, comparable metrics for – Further outcomes metrics• Metrics and council and services available available for all service lines data – National demographic and –New user satisfaction data contextual data available available – Further demographic / other data functions available – Best-practice and case study – Real-time data available• Functionality ‘wikis’ start to be available where possible and tools – Basic citizen feedback function – e-improvement network with in place knowledge base – Basic analysis capability – More sophisticated analytic tools offered – Raw data available for 3rd party – Public facing dashboards available• Transparency analysis for use in council websites and activity – Sufficient ‘mass of councils – Substantial number of councils participating taking part
  13. 13. 12. Conclusions• Transparency and productivity are an unfolding story requiring a shift in culture within the public sector.• But, we must make it work for citizens.• Potential to be driver for innovation in public services.• Remembering the Martha Lane-Fox point about digital being a 21st century element to literacy: we mustn’t forget the 10% who aren’t connected and find ways to draw them in.