Over the past months the impact of the credit crunch and the global economic slowdown on private companies and individuals has dominated the headlines. The UK economy now appears to have moved into recession, with falling output across most major sectors of the economy and rising unemployment. The budget deficit has risen sharply in the first half of 2008/9 and with inflation now expected to fall quickly next year, interest rates are being slashed to try to stimulate bank lending whilst fiscal policy is being considerably loosened.
A key question arising for both central and local government organisations is: what impact the downturn will have on the public sector and the delivery of public services?
This publication examines the critical challenges being faced by local government organisations, and explores how lessons from the private sector might be used to deliver change in the public sector. We also discuss the fundamental priorities that the public sector should focus on during the downturn and the efficiencies that the UK Government plans to achieve through the Operational Efficiency Programme.