These are challenging times for anyone involved in shaping and directing Welsh public services.
With the entire public sector tightening its belt and adapting to changing circumstances, there are serious questions to be asked:
- How will the global recession impact on Welsh public sector delivery?
- Can innovation emerge amidst the pressures of restructuring?
- How can organisations with different priorities work together at this time to get the best results for citizens?
But, with challenge comes opportunity and we should now, more than ever, be exploring ideas and solutions to these issues.
This conference will do just that. It will tackle key issues at the top of the public sector agenda, providing some enlightenment and sharing of experiences - with debate and networking along the way.
Each delegate will have the opportunity to attend two workshops:
- The new local government improvement framework
This workshop offers an early insight into the new improvement regime for local government which will be in place from 2010.
Reg Kilpatrick of the Welsh Assembly Government Local Government Unit will set out plans for the renewal of the Wales Programme for Improvement, and the Auditor General, Jeremy Colman will set out plans for how the improvement of Welsh councils will be measured and reported.
The workshop takes place in the week that the Auditor General unveils his proposals for a new audit and inspection framework in local government. Don't miss the chance to question the Wales Audit Office and the Assembly Government on the new approach.
Planning and delivering services together across all kinds of organisational boundaries is perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity facing the Welsh public sector. This session offers fascinating success stories from different organisations.
Wales Audit Office Partner, Gill Lewis, is joined by a case study team from Torfaen to assess what works, what doesn't and how to get it right.
- New health structures in Wales
The workshop provides a unique opportunity for delegates to learn more about some of the key external review and improvement frameworks which are being developed to help equip the NHS and its partners to get the best out of the changes while avoiding the inevitable pitfalls.Mike Ponton, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation and Dave Thomas, Wales Audit Office Director for Health and Social Care, together consider the challenges and opportunities associated with the reorganisation of the NHS in Wales.
- Sustainable development
Peter Davies is Vice Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, which has recently published a major report highlighting that the drive for growth 'threatens economy, society and environment'. It also sets out 12 steps for the transition to a sustainable economy.Alan Morris and Mike Palmer of the Wales Audit Office are currently finalising a major report by the Auditor General on Sustainable Development and how it is embedded in decision making at government level.
Peter, Alan and Mike will facilitate a workshop where participants will be asked to explore the threats and opportunities posed by the recession and practical ways of making sure every public sector body makes its major decisions in full awareness of the social, environmental and economic impacts for our own and future generations.
- Securing efficiency savings
Wales Audit Office Partner, Kevin Thomas, has been on the front line in supporting the drive for efficiency savings as well as in measuring them. Practical work to spread good practice in a range of areas is realising service improvements, improvement in health and safety, environmental benefits as well as tangible financial savings.
Delivered together, with Geraint Norman from the Wales Audit Office, this workshop will show how improvement and savings are often different sides of the same coin. With resources squeezed in unprecedented ways this is a workshop no one can afford to miss.