June 12, 2006

An unwelcome speculation

IT Week is not my regular reading. But this week they are talking to David McElhinney, chief executive of Liverpool Direct, a public-private partnership between BT and Liverpool City Council that provides the council's revenue and benefits services.

McElhinney is arguing that many smaller councils find it hard to undertake comprehensive IT transformation projects to increase efficiency.
McElhinney believes more drastic changes to the structure of the UK's local government may ultimately be the only way to enhance public sector efficiency. "At the moment the government is talking about any police force with less than 4,000 officers being forced to merge," he observed. "But you don't see the same discussion with services like revenue and benefits. Maybe the government is using the police as a trial and will roll out similar initiatives to other services, because it must be frustrated by the [slow] pace of transformation"
- a speculation which I'm sure ministers would rather have not have seen publicised.

But if they did want to merge other services - would they aim for units within Regional boundaries again?

Let's guess.

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