Chapter 8: Achieving added value: efficiency, effectiveness and public value – Records Management and Knowledge Mobilisation

8

Achieving added value: efficiency, effectiveness and public value

Abstract:

The value of records management is not intrinsic, but determined by supply and demand; improving demand means demonstrating added value. Claimed tangible benefits are derived principally from better management of information, and many intangible benefits stress cost-avoidance. Pressures for economy suggest reducing the scope of records management to a minimum, and technical efficiency mainly focuses on improving its processes. A focus on allocative efficiency and outcomes highlights the contribution of knowledge and records to achieving public value, in particular, via accountability to public trust, confidence and legitimacy. A competing public values model is proposed as a framework for balancing benefits.

Key words

value

efficiency

benefits realisation

effectiveness

performance measures

competing values framework

public value

This chapter discusses the ways in which an iKR strategy can assist records management in adding more value to the public sphere. It develops a framework for thinking about:

 value – what this term means in a public sector context, and how to assess it;

 economy – assessment of costs, or inputs to the records management process;

 efficiency – distinguishing outputs, benefits and different kinds of efficiency;

 effectiveness – contribution to overall outcomes, drawing on the competing values model and concepts of public value.

What do we mean by value?

Between 2007 and 2010, the University of Northumbria (2010) carried out a project which ‘aimed to investigate and critically explore crucial issues and practical strategies to support accelerating the pace of positive change in managing electronic resources’. As part of its work, this innovative project held a series of workshops with practitioners and Delphi (expert opinion) studies to identify and analyse the most important issues and some of the possible strategies to resolve them, and set out the results in a series of reports. These covered a broad range, but one theme that seems to emerge from comments reported verbatim from practitioners revealed serious concerns from participants on the perception of records management within their organisations: that its benefits were not well (or at all) understood by managers and it was not highly valued as an integral organisational function – many other will probably recognise this issue. From the reports, many seemed to recommend strategies that focused on demonstrating the potential benefits to users who had not yet uncovered them, on promoting change management as a vehicle for making cultural values and norms more sympathetic to the principles and practices of the discipline, and on reinforcing such initiatives through formal processes such as personal performance appraisal. A minority suggested that the problem could be read in the opposite direction: that records managers had insufficient understanding of the needs and priorities of users.

One strand of opinion seems to understand value as an intrinsic property that is inherent in records management itself: it has a potential value to the organisation, or to society at large, which is there already but may or may not be realised. The problem, in this view, is how to spread recognition and understanding of this potential value, so that it can be realised in practice; and the principal difficulty lies in communicating that understanding in terms that are convincing to the recipients.

Economists have long debated intrinsic value – something that has value for its own sake, as opposed to for the sake of something else – and how to determine its level. This is difficult because setting a potential value on something is largely subjective: different people, organisations and cultures will have different ideas on the right level. Modern economists now take a simpler approach: they agree that value (while subjective in itself) is a result of the interaction between supply and demand, and simply reflects the amount that an organisation or individual is willing to pay for something. We are used to this idea in a consumer context – a house, a car or an oil painting is worth as much as someone is prepared to pay for it, regardless of the costs of its manufacture. The painting may have a high personal value for a seller as a thing of beauty, but when exchanged for money, it is the value set by the buyer that counts.

Of course, records management in not traded in the marketplace, nor completed in a single transaction; it has to be built and sustained over time to deliver benefits. Some of those benefits accrue to a different generation: archivebuilding, for example, is an investment in the future. Nevertheless, the decision to support and promote records management and knowledge mobilisation is one that is taken today, using today’s resources, even if the pay-off is tomorrow. In a situation of finite resources, who should make the decision to allocate some to one particular use, rather than elsewhere? In any organisation, there are two ultimate sources of decision-making power for resource allocation:

 senior managers, who might believe records management will help them achieve their operational objectives for the organisation more efficiently or effectively, and/or that it will allow them to avoid some potential cost: for example, fines for non-compliance, or the reputational cost of poor governance exposed;

 shareholders, who supply the resources which enable the organisation to operate for particular defined purposes, and who expect it to be accountable to them for what it does.

In the public sector, shareholders equate to the citizens, on whose behalf public policies are made and public services are delivered, and who place their trust in, and grant legitimacy to, the government which represents them. Many things may be thought worth doing, but only some can be resourced: ultimately, over the long term, those that the general public is prepared to back. At any rate in liberal democracies, the settlement between government and the citizen charges the former with overseeing delivery of public services and social outcomes that have a value to the general public and which other channels, such as the competitive marketplace, cannot or do not wish to provide. They can be paid for in various ways: by giving a portion of taxation, by relinquishing rights to personal data or privacy, by donating time and effort, and so on. Some element is delegated for discretionary use by senior management, but nearly always accompanied by accountability mechanisms to oversee its proper use.

From this perspective, an iKRS might aim to achieve and measure value in three areas:

 internal agency management: positively by reducing the cost, or improving the efficiency, of operations and outputs; or negatively by avoiding potential costs from, say, litigation or non-compliance (as a kind of insurance);

 contributing to social outcomes: positively enabling the agency to be more effective in achieving its wider goals – improving health outcomes or educational attainment, reducing inequality or crime levels, changing anti-social behaviour, ensuring equity in justice, etc.;

 wider accountability: demonstrating responsibility to the public and its governing representatives in return for allocated resources; and promoting trust and confidence in the agency, and government in general, in return for legitimacy.

These are different aspects of value, which operate at different levels of granularity, and cannot be measured by the same mechanism, or summed to one overall figure. They are sometimes in competition – prioritising accountability may have a negative impact on efficiency, for example – with trade-offs between levels of achievement. The rest of this chapter examines each in the context of records and knowledge, and proposes a framework for balancing them.

The economic case for records management

During the last decade or so, many projects in electronic records management across the public sector have produced business cases, or similar documents, which justify the costs of investment by setting out the potential benefits and the rate of realisation. Although mainly oriented towards the introduction of IT systems, they encompass the legacy of earlier physical (paper-based) records systems, and taken together represent an up-to-date statement of the case as seen by practitioners. Recent work done by the JISC support body for UK higher education on metrics for records management (JISC, 2010), and guidance produced by national agencies such as the UK National Archives, also contain summary lists of potential benefits. Analysis of these three sources, taking differences of wording into account, shows a broad level of agreement on the main benefits at the organisational level. They are listed in Table 8.1 categorised as:

Table 8.1

Claimed tangible and intangible benefits of records management

 intangible: benefits that are anticipated but difficult to substantiate, or to quantify in monetary terms; for example, improved reputation has a value that is hard (in the public sector) to quantify precisely, although it may be measured by a proxy;

 tangible: where the value can be predicted in quantitative terms, with varying degrees of certainty;

 cashable: where savings translate into actual money that is no longer spent; for example, a process improvement that reduces the number of staff leads to an actual reduction in staff costs;

 non-cashable: where savings can be quantified but not banked; faster response improves customer satisfaction, which can be measured but not directly cashed. Intangible benefits are by definition non-cashable;

 cashable enabler: a benefit that is a necessary but not sufficient condition for making savings elsewhere, avoiding the error of double-counting the same benefit in different contexts. For example, electronic records reduce the need for physical space for paper, but savings are only made cashable by some other initiative, e.g. workspace reorganisation or selling unrequired buildings;

 cost avoidance: these benefits are risk-based; they avoid the potential costs that would accrue if a particular situation came about, by taking precautionary action to prevent it from occurring – savings are notional and non- cashable because they are not budgeted for in the first place. For example, ensuring regulatory compliance avoids penalty fines for non-compliance; ensuring a correct response to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests avoids the reputational embarrassment of being found in error;

 IT-based: these benefits are dependent on introduction of digital systems.

Chapter 3 distinguished between the more stringent requirements of records management – as exemplified in the European MoReq2, or the US DoD 5015.2 standards – and those typical of information management alone: this is the core distinction between electronic records and electronic document management, for instance. The tangible benefits in Table 8.1 fall clearly into two groups: those concerned with improving efficiency in records management processes themselves – getting more for less from the existing service – and those improving efficiency in organisational performance.

In this second group, the benefit is derived largely from electronic working, and it is not clear that the actual benefit is realised from the stricter set of records management, rather than from the information management, components. Process automation, faster responses, savings in managers’ time (unproven though this is!) seem, in principle, to be achievable without the additional cost of records management. One could argue that the stronger records disciplines improve accuracy and reliability, but this seems somewhat marginal: for many user tasks the information does not have to be perfect, just ‘good enough’ to satisfy immediate needs. For many, the task infrequently demands complete information and a risk-averse just-in-case approach is costly. Building up an information base to support knowledge-sharing demands just such an investment because staff must contribute effort now so that others can benefit in the future.

The intangible benefits seem to be where the heart of records management lies, and these again fall into two groups: compliance and performance. The benefits of compliance are very often framed in terms of risk management – asking ‘what would happen if something went wrong? Here’s what we can do to guard against that’ – and promoted to senior management on the basis of fear rather than inspiration. Cost-avoidance is an unreliable argument in periods of financial retrenchment, since it calls for an investment of sunk costs into assets that cannot be fully realised (it’s hard to sell off a records management system), in order to avert an uncertain threat. The second group takes a more positive view; this is akin to the knowledge management argument that knowledge is an intellectual asset that can itself generate value. Management studies have shown, though, that simply having access to more information, or information of a higher quality, does not necessarily lead to better decisions; nor does greater access alone necessarily improve the results of collaborative activity. Many other factors influence decision- making and collaboration: as with the distinction between encoded and cognitive knowledge, it is the sense one makes of it that counts.

This is the problem of the economic case for records management. If it is reduced, essentially, to intangible benefits that fall into either the ‘ought to have’ category of compliance, or the ‘nice to have’ category of enablers, it is harder to justify investment in a context of reducing resources. The turn towards information management brings records and information together, claiming the more tangible benefits of information systems management, workflow and process engineering for the whole; but the danger of this strategy is that, driven by financial cutbacks, a hard look at the detail suggests that these tangible benefits can be realised without the additional cost of formal records management. This is not an argument against information management, whose benefits are vital to the survival of modern organisations. Organisations can survive for long periods without records management – although they may not survive a consequent crisis if one happens – but they cannot thrive for long without managed information that matches their needs.

Is it possible, though, to strengthen – to enhance the compelling aspects of – the case for the largely intangible benefits of records management itself through the turn to knowledge? Could there be a broader range of benefits that build on the dimensions of accountability, collaboration and decision-making by making the link to knowledge mobilisation? To think about this, it is helpful first to distinguish the different ways in which value can be added.

Distinguishing economy, efficiency and effectiveness

Any organisation has to make choices about where it allocates its limited resources, balancing out competing demands in ways that are sustainable for the long term. For administrative functions, the focus is on improving the productive ratio of allocating resources – people, budgets, infrastructure – to results achieved by some combination of: reducing the total cost of inputs; increasing the resulting outputs by improving the process; or by redirecting activity to more productive objectives, stopping some activities and starting others. These are different kinds of value which have different strategies and implications.

Responses to the resource crisis?

Economy adds value by reducing the inputs into a process, making it cheaper to run, even though this may reduce service outputs. Each resource allocation has an opportunity cost – the uses it could otherwise have been put to – and reduction in one area frees resources to create additional value elsewhere. The inputs to records management are primarily staff time, process (including software) support, space and maintenance support. Some potential strategies for making economies are:

 Staff time: while practitioner time is relatively low, that of users is higher, including both time spent capturing records into a software package, adding additional metadata, or setting security levels but also draws on a user’s cognitive resource in navigating the structure of a filing system to retrieve records. Improved software design, or automation of routine processes, might reduce staff time, but the cost of re-implementation must be set against this. More certain is to reduce the demands on staff by: capturing fewer documents as records; devolving responsibility to the local level; or reducing the quality of data where it is not essential for immediate business purposes.

 Using existing tools: full-blown modern records management requires specialist EDRMS software, or more complex systems that integrate EDRMS functionality within a broad offering. An option for economy is to forgo specialist packages in favour of generalised tools (Microsoft Sharepoint is a popular choice) that exist already in the organisation; although these might fulfil some but not all of the EDRMS functions, a ‘one size for all’ approach aligns information management principles with justifiable cost. Other existing tools that can be cheaply deployed include e-mail systems, shared network drives – a return, in fact, to pre-EDRM days – or the use of open source software (but without professional support, reliability is prejudiced).

 Space: electronic records reduce physical space, and this has often been the primary business justification for digitisation. This contribution to reducing the public sector estate is relatively small and can only be achieved once; reductions in the overall number of staff have a much greater effect on space savings.

 Maintenance support: paper-based records take up physical space but require little maintenance over time; for electronic records the position is reversed, reducing storage costs but creating a regular need for migration between digital formats to retain accessibility as technologies change. Strict appraisal and disposal mean fewer records must be migrated, but require specialist software to automate. The ‘keep it all and rely on search technologies to find things’ argument removes the cost of appraisal and disposal, but either increases the cost of migration, or accepts that many records (unless of a very standard format where migration is simple) will become inaccessible relatively quickly – apart from the cost to the user of false hits in retrieved records.

In the context of severely reduced resource levels, the logical response to a ‘should do’ case for which senior managers have little enthusiasm is to ‘do the bare minimum’. The conventional compliance case promotes a precautionary response to risk: include all possible cases to ensure that any occurrence is covered. The immediate response on economy, on the other hand, may well be to restrict the scope of records management, and the scale of records held, to a clearly necessary core defined by a proportionate response to an assessment of organisational risk: covering only those cases most likely to occur, or most serious in their impact. In these conditions, the tangible benefits from integrating records and information management are also harder to achieve.

Focusing on process or outcome?

Efficiency seeks to make the best possible use of resources allocated. This is usually interpreted in terms of processes, seeking to improve the input/output ratio: doing the same with less, and doing more with the same, are both increases in this type of efficiency. Value is created by improving productivity – getting more value for money.

The JISC report offers a good technical framework for records management assessment along these lines, calling for the establishment of performance benchmarks before and after an improvement initiative to identify the efficiency gain actually made. What, though, should the performance measures be? The British Standards Institution (2003) suggests performance measures that are centred on the records management process itself, such as the existence of appropriate policies and classification scheme, based on the tenets of the main ISO 15489 standard, or on measures of systems quality, such as the number of security breaches. The UK National Archives has produced guidance1 which collates relevant standards, recommending performance measures that fall into two groups:

 quantitative measures: for example, the number of records created, inspected (perhaps meaning retrieved for re-use), appraised and destroyed; reduction in filing delays; access and retrieval response times; percentage of teams that capture and store records; service user satisfaction;

 qualitative assessments: including elements such as information-sharing; promoting learning and understanding; more effective evidence-based decision-making; improved productivity; retention of knowledge; and extracting better value from documents.

The key problem with efficiency measures for records management reflects the division between tangible and intangible benefits. Performance criteria that can be quantified straightforwardly as measures tend to reflect the processes of records management itself, assessing whether it is working well on its own terms. Qualitative assessments focus on organisational and business improvements, but as intangible gains they are hard to measure, even using a proxy indicator, because they are usually embedded in the business processes of the organisation. It seems intuitively correct to claim that improved access to, and currency of, recorded information will improve operational performance, but in reality many other factors are present, and it is hard to determine the portion of improvement that is due to a records initiative, let alone measure it.

These other factors may in fact be in tension with the records management claim: here also, management studies have questioned assumptions on rational decision-making, suggesting that the particular needs of the situation, and the outcome that is wanted, lead decision-makers to look only for the information they want to find. They use their own judgement to decide what works, then look for evidence to prove it – and this often seems to reach the best decision. To assess whether, and how, records management should make an impact here requires a prior assessment of whether it is desirable to change that process, and if so, in which ways? The focus should move closer to the business outcome, understanding the kind of knowledge to mobilise in order to achieve that outcome (or to work out what the outcome should be), where and in whom it resides, and to orient the production of records towards that goal.

Meeting the target and missing the point?

There are two kinds of efficiency: technical and allocative. In assessing the best use of available resources, technical efficiency – the kind discussed above – asks: for the things we are doing, are we doing them the right way? The new public management (NPM) movement of the last couple of decades focused on technical efficiency, seeking to identify and measure those things that can be measured – service inputs and service quality – as indicators of performance, and to set targets based on them as a yardstick for performance management. This approach has driven public management thinking (although there is argument over whether, and by how much, public sector productivity has actually improved over this period) and ideas about accountability, tending to replace upwards accountability to departments and ministers with performance contracts, and outwards accountability to service users as customers by choice and market mechanisms. One can see the influence of this thinking in the emphasis on indicators of records management processes and outputs, rather than impact on outcomes. At the same time, recognition has grown of two key problems with this approach:

 Doing one right thing at the expense of another: where one is measured and the other not, inclusion in performance contracts can create a perverse incentive to prioritise the achievement of a target indicator above all else, distorting the proper balance of effort by channelling it away from other valuable activity, and reducing service quality overall.

 Doing the wrong thing very well: sometimes activities should be stopped altogether, either because they were misconceived in the first place, or have become unnecessary; improving efficiency may prop up these activities by deflecting attention from questioning their existence.

Value for the organisation or for the public realm?

Allocative efficiency asks: are we doing the right things in the first place? It helps to determine whether resources should be allocated to one activity in preference to another; technical efficiency then follows on from this allocation. Allocative efficiency is concerned with spending limited resources in the areas that are best able to maximise public value and is the province of elected representatives and citizens; technical efficiency is concerned with making the most of resources allocated and is the province of managers. The purpose of government is to add public value; although a full discussion of all that entails is beyond the scope of this book, any particular function must still be capable of expressing how it adds to public value:

 using a common framework to demonstrate added value that facilitates comparing and contrasting with other services and functions;

 clarifying the kinds of value that are created and finding a balance between them;

 discerning the impact which that added value has on the delivery of outcomes;

 developing a suite of measures that is appropriate to the balance of values determined.

Effectiveness in the public sector is concerned with the extent to which activities achieve their purpose – why they exist, how they create value. Many organisations have policy statements along the lines of ‘effective records management is necessary to achieve compliance/improve decision-making/ reduce costs’, but if we only consider effectiveness as the achievement of records management purposes, we are still caught in the self-referential cycle – that the purpose of records management is diligent records management – and by under-substantiated claims about benefits for organisational performance. Considering effectiveness leads to considering the impact, potential or actual, on delivering those wider outcomes which increase public value.

Creating public value

The basic concepts of a public value framework were first established by Mark Moore (1997) in the mid-1990s and have steadily grown in popularity as a means of assessing the activities of public sector organisations. The BBC uses a complex public value test (BBC, 2004) to help decide which activities it should pursue; the UK NHS has developed a methodology (National Health Service Institute, 2011) to help resolve the dilemma of waning resources and waxing demand; and the approach has at times been taken up by the UK Government Cabinet Office. The approach is intended to help public managers actively seek opportunities to increase value, not just in terms of economic growth, but also in terms of value to citizens and communities, focusing on three aspects of performance: delivering services; achieving social outcomes; and maintaining the trust and legitimacy of public agencies.

This is a strategic role, but one which is closely related to the ‘front line’; since public managers are directly accountable to elected officials and the public, the approach depends on a high level of public engagement to ‘develop confidence, trust and loyalty between the people and the public authorities’ (Benington and Moore, 2010). Public value is co-produced through the interaction of the citizen, the manager, professionals and other stakeholders: between doctors and patients working together; between the unemployed, benefits agencies and job-creating social enterprises; between civil society and the state. Trust engages loyalty, which in turn encourages co-operation and participation in delivery; and this collaboration legitimises the allocation of resources to public value aims – the service user is active co-producer rather than passive recipient, taking more control over their own lives.

The role of the public manager is to negotiate these interactions to identify potential value, understand what is feasible in terms of available resources and their efficient deployment, and build legitimacy by mobilising a coalition of interests and networks through public dialogue. This discourse takes into account longer-term public interests and the value added by pursuing consistent and cohesive actions that build up and mature over time, as well as the current views of today’s public, reconciling the tensions between what the public values with what protects and enhances the public realm (Benington and Moore, 2010): reconciling the immediate needs of the moment with long-term investment, and regulation and control with creative innovation. In doing so, the public manager must align three strategic aspects: the aims of public value initiatives, accountability to mandating authorities and operational capability; or put another way, the requirements of value, legitimacy and feasibility.

This is an attractive approach to thinking about value in records management because it:

 locates accountability as a core value, as a generator of trust, confidence and legitimacy, making the link with compliance as a key strategic enabler across the public sphere;

 incorporates an ‘invest for the future’ perspective as part of that strategy, which supports a long-term approach to realising the information value of records collections and archives for future generations;

 offers a framework for resolving tensions between efficiency and effectiveness, between regulating information and supporting innovation, and between the logics of consensus and dialogue;

 recognises collaborative value-creation, moving beyond a single organisational perspective to encompass issues of partnership working and co-production, and so accommodating frame and entitlement clashes;

 recognises that knowledge itself creates value by drawing on multiple stakeholders to shape and improve more appropriate outcomes, an implicit claim that underlies qualitative assessments of efficiency.

Competing public values

Although this method takes into account those important features not easily incorporated in a standard NPM approach, the problem of how to measure public value remains. Many possible measures are proposed, tackling different aspects, but even with these, how can different sorts of measurement be added together to find a comprehensive single gauge of public value? In tackling the problem of integrating different approaches to measuring performance in the public domain, Colin Talbot (2008, 2010) proposed a framework which combines the concept of public value with the competing values framework (CVF).

The CVF model was developed in the 1980s with the aim of assessing organisational effectiveness (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983) and is now very widely used. The authors observed two dimensions of effectiveness, which are both present in any organisation to different degrees. One, drawn vertically, places an orientation towards flexibility, innovation and change at the upper level, and an emphasis on stability and control at the lower end. Some organisations esteem dynamism and an ability for rapid adaptations (for instance, companies operating at the leading edge of technological change) and some stress order and predictability – public sector organisations typically fall into the latter type. The second dimension, drawn horizontally, distinguishes an organisational focus on internal capability (left side) from one on external opportunities (right side); typically, private enterprise seeks to create value by exploiting opportunities in the marketplace and state bureaucracies focus on creating value by developing their own people and processes.

Putting these two dimensions – flexibility versus control, internal cohesion versus external differentiation – together creates a four quadrant matrix (see Figure 8.1), each of which represents different cultural characteristics:

Figure 8.1 Competing public values model for an iKR strategy
Key: Dimension CULTURE TYPE Structure type Value MEASURE Source: Author’s adaptation

 Control occupies the lower left quadrant, bounded by an internal focus and an emphasis on stability, creating value from order and predictability.

 Collaborate is upper left, with an internal focus, but more emphasis on flexibility, creating value from human potential.

 Create is located in the upper right quadrant, defined by flexibility and external focus, creating value from innovation.

 Compete takes the lower right slot, with an external focus that emphasises stability, creating value from competitive activity in a marketplace.

A central point, that distinguishes this model from most other matrices, is that an organisation (or institution) does not fall uniquely within one or another quadrant. Instead, an organisation exhibits characteristics or values from each one of the quadrants, to a greater or lesser degree; and the emphasis – which values are strongest – will differ at different times, in response to changes in the wider world. Public sector organisations naturally tend to be strongest in the control quadrant: stability and predictability are important in ensuring fairness and accountability in public service, and we do not value governments that are arbitrary and opportunistic. At the same time, public sector reform under new public management has stressed values of greater agility, choice and competition, and innovative solutions; it has, in other words, tried to strengthen values derived from other quadrants on the right-hand side. More recently, we have seen an emphasis on collaboration and citizen empowerment, moving towards the upper quadrants.

The particular value of the CVF model is that it captures a wide range of values, which are sometimes paradoxical, competing or in conflict with each other within the same organisation, without trying to squeeze messy reality into a single convenient archetype. Just like people, organisations and institutions can be contradictory and confusing, full of ambiguities: different situations call for different responses, and the ability to reframe a situation in order to discern the varieties of potential it possesses is an effective way of creating added value.

Adapting competing public values to an iKRS view

This is a helpful way to think about records and knowledge together. Figure 8.1 draws on the CVF model, and Talbot’s work on competing values, to incorporate the key values of an iKRS view. Records management primarily falls into the control quadrant, with core values stressing continuity, consistency and structure, and compliance with institutional rules. It is largely accompanied by the view of knowledge as an objective entity that is encoded and embedded, a view of policy-shaping and programme delivery that focuses on gathering and analysing data as evidence, and performance measures drawn from technical efficiency. Putting knowledge into action, though, is a messy and ambiguous skill, drawing on a wider range of human potential, and depending on learning, cognitive understanding and collaboration between different frames of reference. This view of knowledge is reflected in the upper quadrants, where allocative efficiency and impacts are more valued, and the delivery channels are typically networks and communities.

An iKRS can draw public value, and measurements sets, from each of these quadrants, according to the balance of the situation. Assessing formal records and information management processes by means of service outputs is well advanced; but the framework also offers the ability to assess a contribution to social outcomes, and to impacts on the external world conditions.

All aspects also make a contribution to the core values of accountability, and the building of trust and confidence, at the centre of the framework:

 compliance and control ensure an ability to render an accurate and reliable account of actions, and safeguard the proper governance of information;

 evidential analysis draws on explicit and transparent knowledge and information to justify decisions and actions;

 accessibility and appropriate re-use of government data offer market choice and extract economic value;

 mobilisation of knowledge resources in collaborative initiatives, facilitated by analysis and knowledge strategies, enables all stakeholder voices to influence policy-shaping and delivery;

 learning and feedback from collaborative processes enhance and give context to evidence and build understanding and insight;

 transparency and participation mobilise the creative potential of citizens, service users and clients.

In the public values approach, trust and legitimacy, built on the foundations of accountability, participative dialogue and a robust confidence, is the keystone which absorbs the tensions between policy-making, service delivery and the production of social outcomes. Locating knowledge and records as a prime creator of trust and legitimacy, delivered through the central value of accountability, places them at the heart of public policy and knowledge as the bridge between policy and delivery.