Aiken PR

The Briefing

NICS launches Outcome Delivery Plan for 2018 – 2019

by Aiken PR

04/06/2018

The NI Civil Service have published an Outcomes Delivery Plan for 2018–19 which will provide temporary cover for the implementation of the 2016–21 Programme for Government in the absence of a working Executive

The Northern Ireland Civil Service today published an ‘Outcomes Delivery Plan’ (ODP) for 2018–19 which will provide temporary cover for the implementation of the 2016–21 Programme for Government, in the absence of a working Executive.

Speaking at a today’s launch, Head of Civil Service David Sterling said that until ministers return to office and the Executive is restored, departments need to ensure that the operational business of government is discharged as effectively as possible.

He said: “This delivery plan sets out the actions that departments will take to give effect to the previous Executive’s stated objective of Improving Wellbeing for All– by tackling disadvantage and driving economic growth.”

“The plan provides direction for those who deliver public services and provides a measure of transparency about what the NICS will be doing, particularly at a time when the Executive and the Assembly are not functioning.”

How does the NICS plan differ from the PFG?

PFG= contains 14 outcomes

ODP= contains 12 outcomes

 

PFG

NICS

1

We prosper through a strong, competitive, regionally balanced economy

We prosper through a strong, competitive, regionally balanced economy

2

We live and work sustainably – protecting the environment

We live and work sustainably – protecting the environment

3

We have a more equal society

We have a more equal society

4

We enjoy long, healthy, active lives

We enjoy long, healthy, active lives

5

We are an innovative, creative society, where people can fulfil their potential

We are an innovative, creative society, where people can fulfil their potential

6

We have more people working in better jobs

We have more people working in better jobs

7

We have a safe community where we respect the law, and each other

We have a safe community where we respect the law, and each other

8

We care for others and we help those in need

We care for others and we help those in need

9

We are a shared society that respects diversity

We are a shared, welcoming and confident society that respects diversity

10

We have created a place where people want to live and work, to visit and invest

We have created a place where people want to live and work, to visit and invest

11

We connect people and opportunities through our infrastructure

We connect people and opportunities through our infrastructure

12

We give our children and young people the best start in life

We give our children and young people the best start in life

13

We have high quality public services

 

14

We are a confident, welcoming, outward–looking society

 

Omitted outcomes (from PFG to ODP)

  • We have high quality public services
  • We are a confident, welcoming, outward–looking society

In addition to a reduction in outcomes, The NICS ODP contains fewer indicators for each outcome.

This is demonstrated below for Outcome “We prosper through a strong, competitive regionally balanced economy” having 5 indicators, as opposed to the PFG which has 18 indicators for the same Outcome.

 

Outcome 1: We prosper through a strong, competitive regionally balanced economy

 

PFG

NICS

1

Improve educational outcomes

Private sector NI Composite Economic Index

2

Improve the skills profile of the population

External sales

3

Increase the proportion of people in work

Rate of innovation activity

4

Reduce economic inactivity

Employment rate by council area

5

Increase the proportion of people working in good jobs

% change in energy security of supply margin

6

Reduce poverty

 

7

Increase the size of the economy

 

8

Increase the competitiveness of the economy

 

9

Increase innovation in our economy

 

10

Improve transport connections for people, goods and services

 

11

Improve internet connectivity

 

12

Increase the confidence and capability of people and communities

 

13

Improve our attractiveness as a destination

 

14

Increase economic opportunities for our most deprived communities

 

15

Reduce underemployment

 

16

Improve regional balance of economic prosperity through increased employment

 

17

Improve our international reputation

 

18

Increase the proportion of graduates moving into employment, or on to further study

 

One welcome divergence between the newly published ODP and PFG is the ‘ACTION’ focused planning schedule which creates tangible and specific targets.

Commitments such as ‘Support up to 400 companies to engage in innovation activities for the first time‘ will allow for close monitoring and scrutiny over what is a short space of time in public policy terms.

 

Excerpt from NICA Outcome Delivery Plan

The newly published ODP states

“In keeping with the direction set by the previous Executive, members of the NICS Board who were previously appointed as “outcome owners” remain charged with leading engagement and collaboration across departments to deliver progress where they can in the relevant areas and to coordinate the work of the senior staff with responsibility for the actions contained in the plan.”

Analysis

For well over a year now, businesses and interest groups have been asking about the Programme for Government and whether or not it would continue as the vehicle from which to deliver public policy in Northern Ireland.

Clearly NICS did not feel they could fully implement the PFG as was, so have opted to adapt the main areas of policy and create measurable actions which will allow for progress to take place over a shorter 1 year period.

In the continued political vacuum, this will be viewed as a proactive and welcome step which will hopefully deliver some normality to departmental activity.

It seems unlikely that the newly published document will be subject to legal challenge (as the main bulk was agreed previously), therefore it looks like NICS is seeking to deliver continuity through the implementation of public services for a one year period.