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Improving Public Services: Public Administration Reform in Northern Ireland

Knox, CG and Carmichael, Paul (2006) Improving Public Services: Public Administration Reform in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Policy, 35 (1). pp. 97-120. [Journal article]

PDF (Journal article) - Published Version

DOI: 10.1017/S0047279405009311


The devolved government in Northern Ireland set about the task of putting in place‘a modern and effective system of public administration that can deliver high quality publicservices to our citizens’. It did so through a review of public administration launched in June2002. This article offers a formative evaluation of the quest to improve the quality of publicservices, now being taken forward by a British minister since the suspension of devolution. It argues that the review is being driven by institutional concerns and is devoid of a public service modernising agenda. Additionally, it contends that how people in Northern Ireland perceive public services is contingent on their views on its constitutional status (Direct Rule or devolved government) which, in turn, is linked to their support for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, rather than the performance of public bodies. As a consequence, the reforms may result in little more than institutional tinkering with doubtful impact on the quality of public services.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:9089
Deposited By: Professor Colin Knox
Deposited On:02 Feb 2010 08:04
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 15:45

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