PASC 03-04 PN 13

Session 2003-04

Press Notice No.13


Committee seeks answers on way forward for Government's reforms

PASC-the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee-today seeks public views on whether the Government's public service reforms really offer better choice and a clearer voice for their users.

As it begins a major inquiry into choice in public services, PASC also asks in an "issues and questions" consultation paper whether giving people the right to choose threatens fairness and equity. Among the questions in the paper are:

·    Is 'choice' simply a euphemism for competition and market mechanisms?

·    Can individual choice, collective choice and choice on behalf of the citizen (by government or local authorities for example ) operate successfully alongside each other?

·    How is satisfaction with public services to be measured?

The paper sketches the history of attempts to give users rights to certain levels of public services, including the Citizen's Charter of the 1990s and the more recent Modernising Government plan. It also quotes the Prime Minister's recent speech in which he promised greater choice and a greater say in how public services are delivered.

Responses to the paper should be with PASC by 16 April 2004.

A link to the issues and questions paper can be found from the file in the press notice list:  "An isssues and Questions paper - Choice and Voice in Public Services" or by inserting the following web address:

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For further information please telephone Philip Aylett, Clerk of the Committee on 020 7219 3498. Tony Wright may be contacted for press inquiries on 020 7219 5583

Publications and evidence, including uncorrected evidence, is also available on the Internet at

For information regarding forthcoming meetings including venues and times please call the House of Commons Committee Information Line on 020 7219 2033 (updated daily).