Caught in an Evaluatory Trap: A Dilemma for Public Services Under Npfm
Posted: 4 Dec 2001
This paper presents a challenge to public sector managers, policy makers and interested academics. Drawing on the findings of previous international comparative studies of New Public Financial Management (NPFM) reforms, it concludes that public services and their providers are caught in an 'evaluatory trap'. The continual promotion of NPFM reforms, despite their evident repeated failure to meet specified achievements, is argued to be generating a cycle of ever-decreasing public services at ever-increasing costs per service unit. As the legitimacy of public services increasingly rests on the need to be seen as efficient and effective and as definitions of efficiency frequently demand adoption of the latest set of NPFM reforms, it follows that the future for public services is in question.
Keywords: Financial management; Accountability; Responsibility; Performance measurement; Cost-effectiveness; Democracy
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M49, L32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation