Increasing public trust and confidence in public sector decision making

In light of a number of recent events, it seems more important than ever before to allow the public to take part in operations of decision making processes within the public sector. The complexity and interlinkages of the public sector are overwhelming, and public involvement, collaboration and openness will lead to better outcomes.

Planning applications, consultations, representations and other traditional mechanisms are increasingly being seen as ineffective and the powerful interests can get around the rules. Openness and transparency would help all members of the community to reach better outcomes.

Meanwhile local people, carers, people with a disability, families, communities are not engaging, are not listened to and their participation is not helping the public sector decision making processes.

This is a real waste of Scotland's individuals and their insight.

These traditional processes are losing dignity, respect and the trust of the public. In Nat Cen survey 61% trusted the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests, and this can be improved for Scotland to work in individuals' best interests as well.

As a result of people not participating, the financial and operating decisions taken by public sector organisations could be sub-optimal because the views of many informed individuals and communities are not heard.

Why the contribution is important

The citizens and communities of Scotland would appreciate the chance to contribute to decision making, and to have genuine, open and transparent processes. The budget of the country now is > £ 30 billion and there are many decision points in Holyrood, local government and NHS where citizens wish to contribute their insight and ideas.

When people are excluded, or decisions are made without including people, then trust is lost. The organisations then lose their authority and open government can reverse this by promoting participation, transparency and trust.

Decision making processes that are inclusive, enable dialogue and collaboration, and that are open will counter the fear among citizens that government is not listening.

It will therefore help to increase the levels of trust between citizens, communities and the state.

 

by AlexStobart on August 20, 2018 at 12:41PM

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