Press release

Call to action for public sector workers to help deliver public services quicker, cheaper, simpler

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today called on public sector workers up and down the country to help deliver first-class public services.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today called on public sector workers up and down the country to get involved in helping remove the unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy that can get in the way of delivering first class public services.

All public sector workers, from nurses to those working in job centres, local government, or vital back office functions are all being given a chance to have their say by logging onto the new Tell us How website and sharing their best ideas on ways to deliver public services, quicker, cheaper and simpler.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said:

We are fortunate to have a wealth of passionate, committed and able public services professionals in this country, but their potential is too often constrained.

Those on the frontline know best what obstacles they face in their daily tasks and what burdens stand in their way. We hope the Tell Us How website we’re launching today will help fix this. It will play a vital role in providing public sector workers a way to tell us what is preventing them from getting on with their job, how we can support them better and share with us new ways of doing things that can save money or time.

We know these ideas are out there from our experience of the Spending Challenge. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference and that is why I’m asking public sector workers to come forward and help us to help them.

Public sector workers submitted almost 65,000 ideas to the Spending Challenge website in just 2 weeks. Ideas included examples of how the government can save time without sacrificing quality, like the public sector worker who suggested no longer requiring junior doctors to undergo a new criminal records check every time they move post.

The government Lead Non-Executive, Lord Browne of Madingley, said:

This is exactly what is needed to bring the innovative capacity of public sector workers to the heart of policy delivery. Frontline staff will be able to improve services by using their knowledge of the operational impacts of policies, rules and requirements, to challenge the established way of doing things.

The ideas submitted by public sector workers will be assessed by a team in the Cabinet Office. The best ideas will be taken forward by the department or authority responsible, which might be the frontline organisation itself, or could be the department responsible for that area. Public sector workers also have the choice to submit their ideas anonymously.

Making public services better for everyone is a top priority for the government and this new programme builds on the Open Public Services White Paper, launched over the summer, to modernise and improve public services.

Whitehall is committed to moving away from a model where the centre of government knows best to empowering organisations to deliver services that meet the needs of people using them. The government is already supporting public sector workers to form public service mutuals, becoming their own boss and using their expertise to deliver public services.

Tell Us How will work alongside the Red Tape Challenge, launched earlier this year, which gives businesses the opportunity to have their say on how current regulations can be improved, simplified or abolished; removing barriers to economic growth and increasing individual freedoms by reducing the overall burden of regulation.

Notes to editors

  1. Public sector workers can submit their ideas to the Tell Us How website, email or call 01603 704999.
  2. How it works: the crowd-sourcing website will automatically rank the top ideas based on the votes and approval ratings of other public sector workers visiting the site.
  3. From these top ideas some will be selected for immediate, internal department action and some will be reviewed to assess their potential for implementation by a cross-cutting review team. These reviews will be led by a non-Executive Director (most likely drawn from the lead (or responsible) department’s board).
  4. An independent scrutiny group, chaired by Francis Maude, will provide overall leadership to the programme, working with departments to determine which ideas are taken forward, how (e.g. through a review) and when. 
  5. Tell Us How is a rolling initiative subject to review in 2015.
  6. Government will begin announcing which ideas it intends to take forward first in the New Year. Work to action these will begin immediately thereafter.
  7. Tell Us How builds on the work departments have been undertaking locally to reduce burdens across the public sector over last 15 months.
  8. For more information on the Open Public Services White Paper please see the Open Public Services White Paper.
Published 25 October 2011