UK Parliamentary Scrutiny of Public Service Agreements: A Challenge Too Far?

  • Carole Johnson
  • Colin Talbot
Part of the Governance and Public Management Series book series (GPM)


This chapter turns its attention to the issue of how performance information is and isn’t used by the United Kingdom’s parliamentary scrutiny committees involved in scrutinizing government activity. Whilst performance management is largely rooted within the technocratic administrative arena, there is a growing trend towards the possibility, at least, that performance information could be used as one source of data for the purposes of supporting the democratic polity (Pollitt, 2006b). The case of the Public Service Agreements (PSAs) discussed below is, ostensibly, one example where there has been the intention to support the democratic use of performance information. The findings may lend support to Pollitt’s assertion that politicians, if interested in performance information at all, are interested in broad brush data only. They appear not to be engaged by the prospect of carrying out detailed scrutiny. However, the government itself has not given the PSA policy the precedence it deserved and may be partly responsible for the lack of scrutiny that PSA policy received.


None None Performance Information Select Committee Core Task Liaison Committee 
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Copyright information

© Carole Johnson and Colin Talbot 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carole Johnson
  • Colin Talbot

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