The White Paper on Open Public Services

November 2011

This paper summarises the government’s 2011 white paper on open publicservices.

In January 2011, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that he wanted‘one of the greatest achievements of this government to be the completemodernisation of our public services.’ At the launch of the Open PublicServices white paper in July, he reiterated this vision, arguing that thecoalition remains as committed to public service reform ‘as it has ever been’.

The Coalition government published its White Paper on Open PublicServices in July 2011. When asked why open public services Deputy PrimeMinister Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron have stated that there isan overwhelming imperative – an urgent moral purpose – that drives the desireto reform public services within the Coalition. They have also stated that – ‘Wewant to make opportunity more equal’.

The paper comes amid concern that our society is blighted by thepersistent failure to extend equal opportunity, dignity and worth to all.Inequalities in access to good schools, decent healthcare, safe places to play,culture, sporting opportunities, good nutrition and so much more leave oursociety less free, less fair and less united.

The Coalition government feel that the forces that restrict opportunityfor some inflict an injury on all. The government believe that the failure toeducate every child to the maximum of their abilities is not just a moralfailure to accord every person equal worth, it is a piece of economic myopiathat leaves us all poorer. It is said that in a world rendered so much morecompetitive by globalisation, United Kingdom can no longer afford to leavetalents neglected. Every pair of idle hands, every mind left uncultivated, is aburden on all society as well as a weight on the nation’s conscience.

For full briefing paper please click here.

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