What is public management?

We explain what public management is and what is New Public Management. In addition, why it is important and examples of public management.

  1. What is public management?

When we talk about public management or public administration, we mean the implementation of government policies , that is, the application of state resources with the objective of promoting development and the welfare state in its population . The university career that trains professionals in the theories, tools and practices that concern the public policies of a nation is also called public management.

While public management and public administration are not 100% equivalent concepts, they can largely be used as synonyms. Its difference is that the first term refers to knowledge and conceptualization, while the other generally applies to the practical and real aspect of it. But in both cases it is about how to manage state resources.

The study of public management also aims to build methods to improve the public , which allow eliminating the norms that hinder economic and social life, improve those that are necessary and replace obsolete ones with more up-to-date versions. All this in order to build more efficient public administration models, less prone to corruption and more democratic.

  1. New Public Management (NGP)

Public Management
The efficiency model is based on state benefit contracts.

Towards the end of the 20th century, certain sectors of the political and economic life of developed countries proposed the need to radically and deeply rethink the way in which we conceive the Government and the State in the West, thus proposing their bureaucratization and the review of the functioning of everything public and subsidized, founding in the 1990s what was called the New Public Management (NGP).

This radical criticism of the public led by authors such as Ferlie (1996), Mönks (1998) and Bolgiani (2002), proposed four development models for the public:

  • Efficiency Model Based on state benefit contracts , it focuses on the productive performance of the public.
  • Model of downsizing and decentralization of the State. It proposes the reduction of public structures and the radical decentralization of the administrative responsibilities of the State.
  • Model of the pursuit of excellence. Whose idea of ​​the State is the propitiator of a culture of leadership and learning favorable to national productive processes.
  • Public service orientation model. The State must be governed by a model of excellence in the provision of services to the public, guaranteeing the satisfaction of its clientele.
  1. Importance of public management

Public Management
Thinking public policies allows people to build their own development alternatives.

Public management is indispensable for the construction of fairer, more equitable and happier societies . To a large extent because the role of the State, source of eternal debates between those who prefer minimal participation (liberals) and those who opt for full participation (interventionists) in economic and daily affairs, requires responsible, fair and democratic planning, which ensures always for the gradual improvement and the fairer rules of life. Thinking about public policies allows people to build their own development alternatives based on their particularities as a nation.

  1. Public Management Examples

It is easy to exemplify public management in the processes of government change , since outgoing authorities and newcomers often implement different policies. Thus, for example, the Brazilian government of the State of Bahia in 1995 implemented a citizen service that implemented a Center of federal, provincial and national agencies providing the public with their services in a comfortable and easy way. These SAC Centers (Citizen Attention Service) were distributed in the neighborhoods and had customer service departments with photocopying, photographic services, etc. All in order to facilitate the procedures for the citizen.

Another case worth mentioning was the implementation of transport cards via the Internet in the Government of the Community of Madrid , in Spain. This new service, released in 1998, significantly improved the quality of life of the public, saving long lines in recharge windows and allowing access to numerous information services linked to its urban travel rechargeable card.

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