By David Williams
8 November 2010
Two-thirds of senior public sector managers believe the need
to reduce costs now will make it more difficult for them to address long-term
challenges, according to a report.
Tough choices –
different perspectives on long-term risks facing the public sector and wider
civil society was published today by Ipsos Mori and Zurich Municipal.
It reveals that 64% of ‘public sector leaders’ believe the
short-term imperative to reduce spending could lead to greater risks later, and
49% feared it would affect public services.
However, an overwhelming majority – 91% - were confident about
their risk management processes. Launching the report, Andrew Jepp, head of
local government at Zurich Municipal, said: ‘That confidence is not entirely
shared by us or the public.’
He added: ‘Some risk is inevitable and we know that over
coming years we could see many examples of service loss and workforce
challenges, including strike action.
‘At some point, we think we might see a complete
organisational failure of a hospital, university, housing association, major
charity or even a local authority.’
But he added that this does not have to happen ‘and
certainly doesn’t need to be widespread’.
The firm also warns of a risk of more claims against public
bodies, with possible rises in claims for unfair dismissal, personal injury and