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NCJ Number: 50204 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC SERVICES ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE
Journal: EVALUATION  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:(1973)  Pages:37-41,96
Author(s): M OLSON
Corporate Author: Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Inc
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PUBLIC SERVICE PERFORMANCE IS DIFFICULT TO ASSESS BECAUSE SERVICES ARE DIRECTED TOWARD A VERY LARGE GROUP, CRITERIA ARE VAGUE, AND THERE IS LIMITED COMPETITION TO FORCE COMPARISON.
Abstract: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRIVATE GOOD PRODUCTION AND PUBLIC SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ARE DETAILED. THE BELIEF THAT EVALUATION TECHNIQUES SUITABLE FOR INDUSTRY CAN BE APPROPRIATELY APPLIED TO HUMAN SERVICES IS CHALLENGED. CONSUMERS OF A PUBLIC GOOD DO NOT REVEAL HOW MUCH IT IS WORTH TO THEM, SO THE 'PRICE' MUST BE DETERMINED THROUGH THE POLITICAL PROCESS. IT IS ONLY THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX THAT VOTERS LET GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS KNOW THE VALUE THAT THEY PLACE ON A PARTICULAR SERVICE. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LIMITED FUNCTIONS, SUCH AS TRAFFIC CONTROL OR STREET MAINTENANCE, IS EVALUATED MORE EASILY THAN THAT OF BROAD FUNCTIONS, SUCH AS CRIME PREVENTION. THIS IS CITED AS A REASON WHY LIMITED FUNCTIONS USUALLY ARE DELIVERED MORE EFFICIENTLY. HEADS OF AGENCIES WHO MUST ACCOUNT FOR THE EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF BROAD FUNCTIONS OFTEN SPEND MONEY ON PUBLIC RELATIONS TO DEFEND THEIR PERFORMANCE BECAUSE THEY CANNOT FIND CONVINCING MEASURES TO SHOW THAT THE OPERATION IS EFFECTIVE. POLICIES TO ACHIEVE EFFECTIVE, ECONOMICAL GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF MEANINGFUL MEASURES FOR PUBLIC GOODS ARE CONSIDERED THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Evaluation; Federal government; Governmental planning; Local government; Public administration
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50204

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