Quality management systems and performance measurement in a public sector organisation
Two of the most important issues concerning public sector organisations (PSO) all over the world today is the need to reduce their operating cost whilst at the same time they are required to improve their services. Most countries of the world are looking at quality management, competition and performance measurement as elements that they could explore to achieve the objective of reducing cost and increasing public satisfaction with the services offered. The local authority in Britain is one of the most heavily targeted public sector organisations to be subjected to competition. Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) was introduced by law to ensure local authorities embrace competition. In response to this regulation, the majority of the local authorities adopted a quality management system in order to cope with competition. Associated with the quality initiatives and competition is the legal requirement for local government in Britain to publish in the local newspapers their performance on a set of indicators determined by the central government. The aim of this research was to explore and describe the link between quality management and performance in a PSO . A case study investigating two departments consisting of engineers, surveyors and architects at Salford City Council, Manchester was conducted to determine the effect of quality management system (QMS) and competition and the nature of performance measurement undertaken in a P SO. The research findings indicate that there was no structured system that monitors performance of the organisation. The research also highlights that the performance of a city council in general was determined by a simple set of indicators. It was also found that the implementations of QMS in a PSO needs to incorporate features that can detect how well the departments are improving due to practising the system.