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Innovation in government organisations studied by LSE Public Policy Group

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The first independent report into operational innovation in central government was commissioned from the National Audit Office (NAO) from the LSE's Public Policy Group, and published this summer (25 July).

The report, Achieving innovation in central government organisations, was produced by a team led by Professor Patrick Dunleavy.|

The NAO report examined 125 innovative developments, nominated by 85 government bodies, to improve their administrative and organisational practices. A diverse range of innovations was submitted, with most involving improvements to performance management, new IT or web services or other technological changes. Some of the innovations have taken years to deliver and cost millions of pounds, although the average cost was under £1 million and the timeframe was 28 months, relatively slow by private sector standards.

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, said: 'Much work has been done to drive forward operational innovations within the civil service. But harnessing a new culture isn't easy. We have found many examples of new and worthwhile changes but strong barriers to innovation remain.

'Senior managers are providing leadership to change, but implementing structural changes will not be achieved by dropping initiatives from on high, but rather by creating a supportive environment where all staff are encouraged to make suggestions for change.'

Click here to read the NAO press release|


Contact Jane Tinkler of the LSE Public Policy Group on 020 7955 6064, email: j.tinkler@lse.ac.uk|  or see the LSE Public Policy Group| website.

Press cuttings

Central government operational innovation: strong barriers remain says NAO (28 July 06)
LSE was commissioned by the National Audit Office to produce the first independent report into operational innovation in central government. The report found that although a deep rooted culture of risk aversion is being tackled and improvements in quality and efficiency of service are being made, government bodies could still secure greater benefits and efficiencies with more innovative and progressive approaches.

ePolitix, UK
Watchdog calls for more Whitehall creativity
In a report released on Tuesday, the National Audit Office published the findings of an LSE study into 125 public sector innovations.

posted 26 July 2006