It takes two to dance the scrutiny tango

Tango is a great metaphor for good scrutiny.  Whether you are a councillor, a school governor or any other member of a public body, thinking about what tango involves (the dance not the drink of course) will help you take steps towards more effective scrutiny. Here are the four reasons why: 1.  The good scrutineer …

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The TAPIC framework: A really useful governance map

If you are looking for a method to organise your governance work, the TAPIC framework is one of the most robust in research terms and one of the simplest to use.  Drawing on an extensive literature review, the authors of this framework capture five categories of governance; transparency, accountability, participation, integrity and capacity. These five …

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Good public governance needs good conversations

As a councillor, school governor or member of a public body, you want to feel confident that you are doing the right things in the right way.  While professional advice and good practice guides are important to have, it’s your conversations that will help you most.  But what is a conversation, why do they matter and …

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What does it mean to be solution focussed?

Solution focussed is something everyone aspires to be, right? After all, who wouldn’t be interested in solutions? It may seem obvious at face value but solution focussed does have a particular meaning and implies a distinctive practice that might not be exactly what you expect. As an approach I think it has lots of potential to help with …

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Swiss-Army scrutiny is your flexible friend

Scrutiny, whether in local government or elsewhere, can be about so much more than reviewing decisions.  And yet this narrow view often limits the work that scrutineers do and the way that they do it.  But, with a little imagination, the role can add extra value to councils (and other governing bodies) and be more rewarding …

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Here’s to the guardians of the public galaxy

I’m writing in praise of a particular type of public servant. Unsung heroes who give their time, skills and expertise to guide and support our public services and institutions.  Sometimes they are paid but more often they get only basic expenses.  They don’t seek publicity and rarely get attention in the media. They  do what …

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