05 December 2008
By Vivienne Russell
Local government has embraced the efficiency programme but wants less red tape, fewer Whitehall targets and better incentives to ensure future efficiency gains are sustainable, according to research.
Law firm Nabarro's survey of 100 senior local government decision-makers uncovered a generally positive attitude towards the efficiency drive that followed the 2004 Gershon Review.
Only 4% of those interviewed viewed the initiative as unsuccessful. Most believed it had triggered a behavioural change in their organisation. Shared services was seen as the most successful change with 60% of respondents regarding government measures in this area as helpful. It was also considered to offer the greatest scope for future efficiency gains.
Respondents also called for greater freedom from Whitehall interference. Nabarro partner Elizabeth Cooper said: '[Local authorities] would prefer the freedom to develop their own strategies for future efficiencies rather than having to follow central government targets or objectives.'