As the United States examines the emergency response of federal, state, and local governments in the wake of two major hurricanes, the Right Honorable John Hutton MP delivered remarks at Brookings on common themes and trends in the provision of public services that will confront all modern governments in the next decade. Mr. Hutton, appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to direct public services and government reform in the United Kingdom, explored the basis upon which a modern government should intervene in the lives of individuals and communities and in what way that intervention should be executed. Key questions he addressed are:
- How do we manage choice and contestability in the provision of public services to drive up standards in those services?
- How should we allocate risk between individuals, communities and the state?
- What is the values framework against which the intervention is made?
- What role can the media play in supporting the development of a sensible conversation around risk allocation and proportionality in public policy making?
Appointed chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office by Prime Minister Tony Blair following the general election in May 2005, Mr. Hutton has overall responsibility for, and gives strategic direction to, the Cabinet Office, focusing on better regulation and the continuing public service reform agenda.
Vice President and Director of the Governance Studies Program, Pietro Nivola, provided introductory remarks and moderated a question and answer session following Minister Hutton’s remarks.