Modernising Government

Introduction by the Minister for the Cabinet Office,

Jack Cunningham

Modernising Government is an important statement for the Government. It is a programme of reform for the future. And it is a series of new measures which the Government will implement now.

But Modernising Government is also about something else. It is a clear statement by the Government of what government is for. Not government for those who work in government; but government for people people as consumers, people as citizens.

That doesn't mean to say that those whose job it is to deliver public services are not important. Far from it; they are central. For too long, they have been denigrated. This Government values public servants, and public services and we will continue to do so.

But in doing so, we will make sure that government services are better that they reflect real lives and deliver what people really want. Better provision of better services available from government at all levels is central to the approach of Modernising Government in schools, in hospitals, in doctors' surgeries, in police stations, in benefit offices, in Jobcentres, in local councils. To improve the way we provide services, we need all parts of government to work together better. We need joined-up government. We need integrated government. And we need to make sure that government services are brought forward using the best and most modern techniques, to match the best of the private sector including one-stop shops, single contacts which link in to a range of government Departments and especially electronic information-age services.

These are key new initiatives. It is important that we act upon them now and we will. But modernising government is a long-term programme. Modernising Government is a key step forward in that programme, and a road-map for its future. It sets out a challenge for all of us in government: a challenge to modernise government, to create better government to make life better for people.

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Prepared 30 March 1999