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Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution$
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Nicholas Bamforth and Peter Leyland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670024.001.0001

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Beyond New Public Management

Beyond New Public Management

Problems of Accountability in the Modern Administrative State

(p.333) 14 Beyond New Public Management
Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution

A C L Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the evolution of New Public Management (NPM) in the UK from 1997 to the present day. As introduced by Conservative governments prior to 1997, NPM's prescription for public services was that they should be split along ‘purchaser’ and ‘provider’ lines. Successive governments since 1997 have developed more radical forms of NPM which have, so far at least, largely escaped lawyers' attention. This chapter will consider two such forms: the contracting out of public bodies' purchasing activities as well as provision, and grouping services together instead of using a specialist provider for each one. They will be illustrated using case studies drawn from the NHS and local government respectively. It will be argued that these new forms of NPM pose a much greater threat than ‘traditional’ NPM did to the government's accountability for public services.

Keywords:   new public management, accountability, NHS, local government, public services, purchasing, contracting out, service provision

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