2013 Tansley Lecture - Strategic Targets for Public Services

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2013 Tansley Lecture - Strategic Targets for Public Services: Lessons for Canada from the English Experience Presented on April 18, 2013 by Peter C. Smith, Professor of Health Policy, Imperial College London When it came to power in 1997, Tony Blair's government sought to revolutionize the way in which UK public services were planned and delivered. In particular, it sought to focus the actions of ministers on explicit objectives and targets, in the form of 'Public Service Agreements' (PSAs). The distinctive feature of this system was a range of high profile mechanisms designed to ensure that PSAs led to measurable changes in public service performance. This presentation summarizes the history of the PSA regime, describes some of the major issues that arose in its implementation, and assesses its general relevance to the management of public services by governments in Canada contemplating, implementing or using performance management regimes. Peter C. Smith is Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College London, where he co-directs the Centre for Health Policy. He is a mathematics graduate from the University of Oxford, and was formerly Director of the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York. He is author of many academic papers on the financing and efficiency of public services, and is with Sherry Glied joint editor of the Oxford Handbook of Health Economics. Particular research interests include health system performance assessment, value for money, and the equitable financing of public services. Smith has advised many government ministries and international agencies, including the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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