Amsterdam/Zurich, January 15, 2015 – European governments are struggling to deliver services against a tidal wave of challenges. Ageing populations, rising costs, the increasing complexity of regulation and the multiple implications of a low-growth global economy are creating a perfect storm for public sector administrations. One thing is for sure: they cannot go on operating like they have always done without serious implications for the societies and communities within their jurisdiction.
In the latest BearingPoint Institute report, nine BearingPoint Public Sector Partners across Europe offer thorough suggestions for improving public services while cutting budgets.
In brief, their recommendations:
Assess the societal ROI of opening your data vault
Hughes Verdier, Paris
Public agencies can support their economies by sharing the data they collect across departments and services. They must lead the debate around data privacy and security and implement information-sharing mechanisms that add value without undermining citizens’ rights to privacy and security.
Expectation management of costs and targets are key in delivering agile projects
Kai Waechter, Berlin
Short-term thinking often leads to delivery criteria not clearly defined. To prevent uneasy compromises and budget overruns, strategic goals and realistic, measurable results across a range of milestones must be agreed upfront and a capable and experienced management structure set up to ensure all KPIs are met.
Engaging in the digital era: structure the oganization around a service provider mindset
Andrew Montgomery, Dublin, and Stefan Pechardscheck, Berlin
Digital administrations structured around customer requirements can respond more directly to the needs of their constituents at a lower cost. To operate in this way, governments must realign allocation of funds, budgeting and workforce management around customer requirements and consider technology at every step of the design and development of public services.
Develop sharing and partnering competencies
Jon Abele, Hamburg
Despite years of outsourcing and offshoring to meet reduced budgets, public administrations in Europe still do not cooperate with their national or regional counterparts to any great extent despite a frequent overlap of tasks. Fears of losing autonomy and a discomfort about transparency must be overcome and cooperation embedded as the default approach for implementing laws and regulations.
Public sector as a catalyst for economic success
Alexander Schmid, Berlin
Strong public-private relationships are important drivers for economic growth, but too often public administrations are sluggish in recognizing the role they play in the wider socio-economic ecosystem, while fears over corruption allegations can prevent conversations that could lead to business partnerships. But greater accountability and incentive structures linked with business growth is a better way forward to support local economies.
Adopt portfolio management approach to avoid deadlocks in service delivery
Francois Lanquetot, Paris
Services and projects cannot be managed in isolation, or risk being undermined as circumstances change. Existing and new services should be managed as a portfolio, linked to measurable outcomes. In this way, management can revisit the service base when required and focus on adding value for the customer.
Optimize regulations to avoid the complexity deadlock
Jérôme de Badereau, Paris
Regulation offices in ministries must be wary of short-term pressure to redraw regulations and risk new rules becoming overly onerous, costly and potentially unenforceable. Regulations should be tested with affected stakeholders before their application, while consideration of the longer-term alignment of regulation across borders must also be thought through.
Tackle the demographic time bomb by engaging with front-line managers
André Estignard, Paris
As a large segment of the public sector’s workforce begins to retire, organizations are struggling to create the workforce they need for future public service delivery against budget constraints and inefficient and expensive HR policies. Front-line managers need to be engaged to understand the required shape and skills mix of the organization as a basis for a strategic workforce planning exercise.
You can order the full report on the BearingPoint website: www.bearingpointinstitute.com or contact us to discuss this topic in more detail.
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