Q.In the last two decades, almost all countries of the world have experienced transformations in their ad-ministrative systems.’ Explain this phenomenon with examples from the developed and the developing nations in the context of New Public Management Movement.
Ans : In the world, during 1980’s and 1990’s remarkable changes took place in public sector management in almost all the countries.
- Structurally the change was from rigid, hierarchial and bureaucratic form of public administration to a flexible, market-based form of public administration.
- There was remarkable change in the role of government in society and similarly, there was a change in government-citizenship relationship.
These conditions engineered opportunities for the emergence of a new paradigm in public sector analysis.
The 1990’s saw the emergence of a new model of public sector management. This is called as ‘New Public Management’ or ‘Market-based Public Administration’.
The New Public Management has the following salient features :
- Focus on management and not policy-on performance appraisal and efficiency.
- Desegregation of public bureaucracy into agencies which deal with each other on a user-pay basis.
- Use of quasi-markets and contracting out to faster competition.
- Cost cutting.
- A style of management which emphasizes output targets, limited term contracts, monetary incentives and freedom to manage.
The traditional public administration is based on Weberian/Scientific Management. This model emphasised on structure, work division, power differentiation, centralization and public-private distinction. The whole desigh is like machine, rigid and impersonal.
But the post-Weber model emphasized on public policy-making, implementation and management within the overarching framework of liberal democracy. The new model of public organization has basically been people-oriented as distinguished from traditional structure-oriented.
The new model accepted the decentralization strategy and followed the bottom-up approach. The contemporary view about public organization is not a perfectionist one, as in reality there is no such things as a rigid and pure model of administration.
The New Public Management had emerged out of the Thatcherism (Britian-the first country which initiated the privatization of public enterprises) and Reaganism (in USA) of the 1990s. It represents a synthesis of the public administration and the private administration. It takes what and why from public administration and how from private administration.
The New Public Administration aims at 3E’s — economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The emphasis of New Public Administration is on performance appraisal, managerial autonomy, cost-cutting, output targets, innovation, responsiveness, competence, accountability, market-orientation, contracting out, flexibility, competition, choice, debureaucratization, down-sizing etc.
The New Public Administration emphasizes on the vital role of the “market” as against the ‘State’ as the key regulator of the society and economy. Thus it involves a shift from direct provision of services by government to indirect methods like policy-making, facilitating, contracting, providing information and co-ordinating other actors.
Almost all the countries have experienced the process of privatisaion. Many functions of government are performed by the private sectors. The government has changed from a ‘doer’ of public activites to a ‘distributor’ of public benefits and ‘facilitator’ and ‘promoter’ of change in society and economy.