The MCA – the trade association for management consultancy firms in the UK – has weighed in to the debate on cuts to public services by calling on politicians to be open to radical ideas about new ways of working in government. The MCA’s latest policy paper Driving down costs in government, sets out the Association’s response to the government’s Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP).
Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA, said:
“Now that the debate on cuts has started, the politicians should explain not just where cuts might fall, but how they would reform the way that government does its business. That’s the way to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiencies in the public sector.
“We have a once-in-a-generation responsibility to open up this debate. This will only happen if discussion moves away from the simplistic ‘to cut or not to cut’, to a fundamental consideration of how government delivers services and what we are willing to pay for them.”
The MCA paper finds that the OEP is a good first step in making necessary savings in government. But it is weakened by the lack of adequate strategies for delivering its goals, coupled with an acknowledged shortage of data. The MCA argues that the easiest productivity gains in government have already been made and that fundamental questions must now be raised about “both the range of activities that the public sector now undertakes, as well as the efficiency with which it does so.”
The MCA also argues that the public sector will need to invest in order to implement change. Some of this investment will be spent on securing the help of outsiders. It therefore puts forward proposals to increase the focus on the outcomes of consultancy projects, with increased sharing of risks and rewards between the public sector client and the consultancy.
For further information or to download the policy paper, please visit www.mca.org.uk
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About the Management Consultancies Association
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is the representative body for management consultancy firms in the UK. Our sixty member companies comprise around 70% of the UK consulting industry, estimated to be worth £9bn in 2008, employ more than 40,000 consultants and work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector.
The MCA’s tough entry criteria and rigorous Code of Practice mean that MCA member companies are widely acknowledged to provide high quality services to their clients. Many of their achievements are recognised in the annual MCA Management Awards and the Consultant of the Year Awards.
The MCA informs and influences public debate on topical issues, and provides authoritative data on the industry. It commissions research and policy analysis and represents the industry in discussions with Government and other stakeholders. The MCA also facilitates networking and the sharing of best practice within the industry through events, publications and initiatives such as the Young MCA.