It's often said government should treat citizens the way businesses treat customers. But when it comes to customers, businesses have it relatively easy. They get to pick and choose which customers to serve, lavishing attention on those that are profitable and using a one-size-fits-all approach for the rest.
Governments don't have that luxury. They must serve every citizen, providing essential services that in many cases would never survive in the private sector. Helping those who need it most. Protecting privacy and rights. Providing security and defense. All while balancing a complex mix of conflicting demands from a diverse constituency and in the face of unmatched public scrutiny.
In the private sector, the bottom line is shareholder value. In government, the objectives can be harder to pinpoint — clouded by political agendas, turf battles, special interests and economics. But in the end, the basic goals are the same. Making efficient use of taxpayers' money. Striving for continuous improvement. And delivering maximum value for citizens and communities.
Strategies for success
1. Align activities and investments with overall objectives — particularly citizen needs. Measure performance against that baseline.
2. Get more value from non-core services and assets through shared services and privatization.
3. Introduce competition into government service delivery through innovative partnerships.
4. Identify innovative ways to reward government employees for performance — and for finding opportunities to save money.
5. Aggressively market new services.
6. Strive to be a source of best practices.
Improving performance at the U.K. Ministry of Defence
The Deloitte U.K. member firm is helping the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) tackle one of the biggest inventory challenges in Europe today. MoD currently manages £17 billion (US$30 billion) of inventory using a jumble of homegrown systems and processes. The U.K. member firm is working to replace those diverse systems with a new, fully integrated system supported by a single set of processes. The new solution will dramatically improve the accuracy and visibility of inventory data — essential capabilities for maintaining the nation's defense.
The U.K. member firm is also helping MoD move from cash-based accounting to accrual accounting, providing a more accurate picture of the ministry’s finances and assets. Its work involves strategy, operations, systems integration and change management.