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A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less?Evaluating Three Decades of Reform and Change in UK Central Government$
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Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687022.001.0001

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Consistency and Fairness in Administration

Consistency and Fairness in Administration

Formal Complaints and Legal Challenges

Chapter:
(p.107) 6 Consistency and Fairness in Administration
Source:
A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less?
Author(s):

Christopher Hood

Ruth Dixon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687022.003.0006

Chapter 6 considers administrative performance in the sense of indicators of perceived unfairness, inconsistency, or sloppy administration. These indicators were chosen because some critics of New Public Management see ‘rule of law’ aspects of administration as threatened by cost-cutting managerialism, and because fairness and consistency is a valid indicator of government performance irrespective of particular policy choices. Accordingly, the analysis focuses on the changing incidence over thirty years of formal complaints to ombudsmen and legal challenges to government decisions (judicial review), which are a relatively technology-free way of assessing administrative performance over a period of major technological change and also of getting precisely at those rule of law issues raised by critics of New Public Management. The analysis suggests a mixed picture, but one that is in overall terms hard to reconcile with improved fairness and consistency in public administration over the period.

Keywords:   performance, New Public Management, rule of law, judicial review, ombudsmen, complaints, consistency, fairness

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