23 Critical Soc. Pol'y 5 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy23 and id is 1 raw text is: 


    New Labour and the regulatory reform of
    social care

    In its mission to modernize public services, the New Labour government
    has placed a great deal of faith in the ever expanding regulatory apparatus.
    A  partnership between the Audit Commission and  the Social Services
    Inspectorate has resulted in joint reviews of social services authorities, and
    these have become the vehicle for comparing performance across author-
    ities and ascertaining compliance with central government policies. This
    article draws upon a theoretical analysis of New Labour and Audit
    Commission  texts and an empirical study of joint reviews in action. It
    seeks to: unpick the meanings of 'modernization' in relation to social
    services organizations and the social work profession; explore the position
    and perspectives of joint reviewers as they mediate between the often
    warring factions of central and local government; and, finally, expose the
    underlying value conflicts of the New Labour mission as it attempts to
    reconcile scientific, economic, political and welfare values.

    Key  words:  joint reviews, modernization, resources, social work, value


The  Audit Commission was established   under  Thatcher's New   Right
government   to  promote   the three Es  of  economy,  efficiency and
effectiveness in local government.  The  Labour  party  registered its
opposition  to a quango   that operated  according  to a quantitative
paradigm  and  imposed standardized prescriptions upon  all authorities
(Labour  Party, 1991).  However,  the  New   Labour  government   has
presided over  a massive expansion  of the  regulatory apparatus. For
example,  the Audit Commission   Act  1998  legislated for a variety of
audit inspection partnerships  and the  Local Government   Act  1999

Copyright @ 2003 Critical Social Policy Ltd 74 0261-0183 (200302) 23:1
SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol. 23(1). 5-24; 030491


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