For many of us, our experience of public services is shaped largely by our interaction with the frontline staff with whom we come into contact. The quality of that interaction can be just as important to us as the outcome we receive from the service. That a service is only as good as the people delivering it has become a clich?. Yet what that understanding implies for public policy and how services are designed has not been sufficiently explored.
This report gives shape to the argument that the next focus of public sector reform should be on the relationship between the citizen and frontline staff in public services. It does so by focusing on what matters in the relationship between citizen and the state on the frontline of public services.
Specifically, it considers how the relationship between adviser and benefit claimant can be improved by ensuring frontline staff have the right incentives, degree of control over their work and autonomy to provide effective and responsive services.
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