New labour's management, audit and 'what works' approach to controlling the 'untrustworthy' professions

Authors: Barton, A.

Journal: Public Policy and Administration

Volume: 23

Issue: 3

Pages: 263-277

ISSN: 0952-0767

DOI: 10.1177/0952076708089976


Governments have a problem with the implementation of their policies in as much that most policy implementation is done by contracted agencies be they state agencies or private and third sector organizations. Arguably, the implementation problem has become more acute due to the growth of the mixed economy of service delivery. As a result, there are even more 'problematic' and 'off message' professionals each holding at least the potential to subvert central government's policies. This article seeks to explore these approaches to the professions by arguing that New Labour sees the exercising of professional discretion and autonomy as intransigence and, as a consequence, does not trust the professions to implement policy in the way it is conceived. Consequently, New Labour is seeking to colonize the professions and introduce organizational isomorphism by using audit and evaluation as tools to promote and ensure the 'right' type of professional development takes place. © 2008 Sage Publications.

Source: Scopus