Public Value is a theory for public management advanced by Professor Mark Moore of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In 1995, Professor Mark Moore's seminal book on 'Public Value' (Moore, 1995) was published. Over the previous two decades, staff and students at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where Moore taught, engaged in conversations about how to produce excellence in public management. Moore's resultant book describes a 'Public Value' theory and framework to guide and underpin a new paradigm of public management called Networked Governance. It provides a new paradigm for public management; empowering public managers to greater engagement with, and focus on, citizens and consumers in an ongoing deliberative process to negotiate and shape public preferences for what is valuable and what they should produce. Public Value theory is increasingly being adopted in the west but has not been universally accepted and the development of measurement criteria is ongoing. There is continuing academic debate about the need for its adaptation outside of the western world.
Since the publication of Moore's book, there has been a proliferation of writing on the subject of 'Public Value' by politicians, public servants, public sector managers, academics and consultants. Many public sector organizations have adopted Public Value theory wholesale, or individual elements of it.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Public value refers to the value created by the government through laws, regulations, services and any other action. In a democratic society, this value is defined by the public themselves. Value is determined by citizens preferences expressed in a variety of ways and thus it provides a rough yard stick against which to gauge the public institutions and government policies.
For something to be of public value, it's not an enough criteria for it to be desirable by public. The only way of measuring it is to know if the citizens are willing to give something up in return for it. The idea of cost is therefore linked in most cases to the concept of public value. If the citizens are desirous of the government to produce something and are not willing to give anything up, then the activity in question might not generate much value.
In this context, the idea of studying and comparing two projects of the Government i.e. Metro Bus service, a subsidized service, primarily aimed for the poor masses, and the M II-Motorway, a project initially thought of catering for the elite would be fascinating to compare two government projects aimed at entirely different socioeconomic segments of society and identifying the similarities with reference to creation of public value and if the projects would be viable enough to sustain the same in longer run.
Therefore, the statement of the problem here is:
"Motorway Project M-II and Metro Bus service are government projects aimed at providing fast transportation services to the general public. However, while one was initially and even today touted by some to be another unneeded facility for the rich and elite, the Metro Bus project has generally been hailed as a governmental achievement regarding its service to the under privileged masses. Ironically both the projects have been conceived and executed by the same political government but during different tenures. In this context, it is very interesting to compare and critically evaluate both the projects with reference to creation of public value. My research would try to find the answer to the question if two similar government projects aimed at different segments of society can manage to create public value in terms of its classic definition. If yes, how can that be sustained in the longer run, and if not, then I would try to explore the reasons thereof.
SIGNIFICANCE & SCOPE OF STUDY
In Pakistan, a developing country and eternally embroiled in political, social and economic issues, governance had always held a question mark against its quality. Be it politicians, army rule or bureaucracy there have always been systematic problem of service delivery ' poor quality, low performance, limited responsiveness and weak accountability. The problem of service delivery does not result from financial resource constraints and locative inefficiencies, but also from bureaucratic and organizational context. In the context of education for all and health, if the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved, the problems in the service delivery are to be identified and addressed but sustained overtime to reap the dividend. However within this story of disappointments, there are two projects launched by the present Government, one in its previous tenure 15 years back, and the other one more recently, which can be taken as islands of excellence and quoted as success stories. These two projects were the Motorway M-II between Lahore and Islamabad and the Metro Bus Project in Lahore more recently. Thus I would be justified in saying that if one embarks on a journey of finding public value in any government sector services delivery, the most likely destination where this concept can possibly be studied is within these two projects. This study therefore, aims at identifying if any public value has been created through these projects, and if yes, can this value be sustained for a longer period of time or not. Furthermore, this study would also help in finding the answer to one very basic question, that can public value (a concept conceived in modern western societies) can at all be found in developing nations like Pakistan that are already riddled with so many problems.
Public Value. Where has it come from?
At the end of the 19th century Woodrow Wilson set out what was to become the orthodox model for public administration in the 20th century, where administration was separated from politics and the job of the administrators was primarily to find the most efficient and effective way to implement policy. The Wilsonian approach, however, has failed to adapt to increasing affluence and with increasingly volatile and complex systems. Moreover the inability or unwillingness of 'principal agents' to give clear, detailed and durable strategies for the public manager to implement has led to the break down of the theory. Waldo however questioned the idea that public managers actually worked to this model at all stating it was nothing more than a useful myth or a 'noble lie'. Politicians were not inherently inclined to claim their influence was smaller than the public perceived and administrators equally not disposed to acknowledge the influence that they actually had.
121 years after Wilson's work, academics still wrestle with the same issue; what role should public managers play in a democracy? It is now Moore who champions a proactive alternative that has been ignored for so long. However, Moore's theory is by no means universally accepted and the response is led by the passionate challenges of Rhodes & Wanna . They emphasize the differences of the liberal democracies of the UK and Australia, comparing their strong, disciplined political executive and neutral public officials with the American context in which Moore writes. They claim the authorizing environment is very different in the UK with ministers and the ruling party acting as the fulcrum for decision making; the political appointment of public officials being an exceptional event in comparison to America. They accuse Moore of underplaying the existence of exploitative self-interested lobby groups (such as the alcohol and tobacco industry), failing to acknowledge the asymmetrical power balance between the state and citizens and ignoring the 'dark side' of the state's coercive function. They assert Public Value is a 'Humpty Dumpty' term that means too many things to too many people and places public managers as the new Guardians of society and undermining the primacy of party politics.
The ever increasing influence and appearance that this concept of public value has in shaping public services and in influencing academic discourse, suggest it is necessary to consider, debate and develop it, not just in terms of how it helps shape public services, but also in terms of how it impacts on democracy and citizenship. In addressing the question 'what do we mean by public value ' how can it be created, sustained and measured'? Information is drawn from mostly academic articles and books, but also from other sources.
For this study the research methodology adopted is primarily qualitative analysis wherein questionnaires and interviews with the stakeholders have been distributed and carried out in order to assess the creation of public value aspect in both the Motorway and Metro Bus projects. The result of these will be analyzed to reach the logical conclusion about creation of public value and on basis of this analysis major issues and challenges if any would be identified and the recommendations stemming from the above analysis have been depicted for way forward.
What do we mean by Public Value?
Public Value is a normative theory of public management which provides a 'conceptual framework to inform and inspire reform and improvement of public services' It has been viewed as a concept that is difficult to categorise, that is abstract, that has been variously interpreted, and also mis-interpreted. In answering the question 'What do we mean by Public Value'? I will amalgamate different definitions to give a description of the concept.
Benington states that 'at it's most basic level, Public Value can be thought of as the value added to the public sphere by any activity, service or relationship, or any investment of human, financial or technical resources'. This is a wider interpretation than the narrower description offered by Grigg & Mager who state Public Value describes the contribution made by public services. Kelly et al offer an ever narrower definition of Public Value in stating that it refers to the value created by the government through services, laws, regulations and other actions.
Alford & Hughes are more cautious, in providing a definition of Public Value stating that 'any attempt to list or categorize it is a hazardous enterprise'. However, in agreement with Benington, they go on to say that Public Value can be produced by government organisations, private firms, non-profit or voluntary organisations, service users or various other entities. However, they then go on to quote Moore in offering a very different definition of Public Value: 'Public Value is value that is consumed collectively by the citizenry'. They go on to extrapolate that 'it is not who produces it that makes value public, rather it is a matter of who consumes it'. This disagrees with their earlier definition.
To offer some guiding principles, Benington explains that public value can be 'considered along at least three dimensions, including economic value, political value and social value. Benington goes on to cite Will Hutton in stating that some commentators argue that public value should embrace three public principles: universality, accountability, and fairness and equity. At a more operational level, Benington highlights five key features of public value: a focus on outcomes and processes; a focus on long-term perspectives; a focus on a wide range of producers; public value can be added at various stages in the value chain; and lastly, public value is co-created. Benington later adds to his original conception of public value by defining public value not just in terms of 'what does the public most value'? but also 'what adds value to the public sphere'? Mulgan (Benington & Moore, 2011) offers a different definition and suggests that 'value is never an objective fact, but arises through processes of negotiation and argument'.
As can be seen from the above, there are different and at times confused definitions of the term 'Public Value'. This in turn impacts on descriptions of how public value can be created, sustained and measured. To adopt a pragmatic approach to this difficulty, recourse is taken to Moore's original concept whenever there are significantly divergent views proposed by other authors.
How is Public Value created?
To create public value Moore offers a model of working within a strategic triangle to ensure that the manager has both a true understanding of what is publicly valuable and a mandate to create it. When public managers consider their proposed action, he argues they must ensure that customers, stakeholders, sponsors and funders support the action (authorizing and political environment); their organization has operational capacity, skills and competencies to carry out the action (operational capacity); and that it is in line with the values, mission and purpose of their organization (strategic goals). Value is determined by the preferences of citizens but is it not enough for something to be desired for it to be of value. Citizens must be prepared to give something up for it, either in terms of taxes for services or enforcement powers given to the state in return for greater security.
Kelly et al assess the optimum environment for the creation of public value is 'the combination of strong public sector institutions and competition from private and non profit organizations' as it 'achieves the best balance of accountability innovation and efficiency' to drive sustainable improvement. They cite the improvements in the services as proof quoting the linking of funding as good practice in shifting from measuring outputs to outcomes as a means of creating further value. They categorize the arenas for creation of public value into outcomes, services and trust. The criteria by which public value will be measured as the quality of customer service; how well the public feel that they are informed and the choice available.
Market research on the drivers of delight and dissatisfaction in public services showed what causes dissatisfaction if it is not present very often does not cause delight when present and vice versa. Canadian government research showed timeliness, knowledge of staff, courtesy, fairness and ultimate outcome as accounting for 72% of total variation in satisfaction. From this research it is shown that Public Value is maximized by public managers working at the front line, facilitating grass roots engagement 'harnessing the work of many different agencies' and steering rather than rowing. Thereby they create responsive, personalized services with choice built around citizens' needs. Moore articulates this as public managers acting as 'explorers' but the essence is a bottom up approach involving experimentation with pilot projects and initiatives to discover what works best locally. However this does not mean that large scale long term consultations cannot deliver public value and that they are more inclined to suffer from consultation overload, lack of the public recognition of the benefits of consultation (strategic patience) and the capture of the deliberative process by unrepresentative vocal groups.
Public Value is also created in more unusual ways such as decommissioning services that are no longer efficient or meet a need and even through inaction and resistance, because of ill-advised public concern. Public Value is thus created by achieving distributional equity, demonstrating fairness and in more extreme circumstances by acting as a stabilizing force in the midst of change.
Thus the 'Ladder of Public value' advanced by Rhodes & Wanna offers an incremental method by which public value can be created, depending on the breadth and durability of the authorizing environment, operational capacity and the degree of alignment to strategic goals. At the safe end of the spectrum are minor operational adjustments that would be made by lower level managers briefing and educating the public, making operational adjustments, undertaking customer surveys, focus groups and shaping preferences so informed decisions can be made for the best modes of service delivery. At the high risk end are the ambitious forms of co-production, devolved decision making to client groups and coalition building to support a pre determined vision. Here there is danger of acting beyond or destabilizing the authorizing environment, working beyond operational capacity or outside of the mandate. The goal then for the public manager is to shape and create a collective shared notion of Public Value. Through facilitating discourse between citizens where they articulate their preferences and values, develop an understanding of each others interests the public managers can build interdependent networks and increase social cohesion.
Sustaining & Measuring Public Value
Once public value has been created, there is no guarantee it will automatically be sustained, as authorizing environments, operational capacity and strategic goals are hostages to changing influences. However, as well as adhering to the strategic triangle model of creating public value on an on-going basis, Moore recommends that in order to create value over the long run, an important part of a manager's job consists of strengthening the policies that are sold to their authorizers. He goes on to say that it is not enough that managers simply maintain the continuity of their organization's, or even that they become efficient in their current task but that managers must be prepared to adapt and reposition their organizations in their political and task environments: 'It is important that the enterprise be adaptable to new purposes and that it is innovative and experimental' He also mentions that 'good strategic managers learn not only how to plan actions but, as important, how to exploit unanticipated opportunities as they arise'
In an article on performance measurement, Neely suggests that the fundamentals of continuous improvement is to seek ways that products and processes can be improved, so that greater value can be delivered at greater levels of efficiency. Given the importance of measuring outcomes, such as public value, this essay will go on to look at how this might be achieved. It also states that a credible threat of competition can be sufficient in itself to ensure suppliers of public service continue to seek improvements of effectiveness and quality. It is the combination of strong public sector institutions and competition from private and non profit organization's that maintains this environment of productive distress.
To sustain continuous improvement and keep pace with rising public expectations a balance must also be maintained between production and sustaining production capability. There are many problems that public managers will face that will not have easy solution and it will be through training managers in the adaptive leadership skills that are needed to work in this strategic triangle that sustained success can be achieved.
Measurement of public value is readily achieved where there is broad range of accessible providers so consumers can demonstrate their preferences through choice. Measuring public value could be viewed as an elusive task, given that public managers who create public value cannot know certainly what it is. Also, measuring outputs and outcomes in public services without the added public value complexity has been, and continues to be a well documented problematic area. In combination, it is no wonder that challenge of measuring public value is quite arduous.
Moore suggests analytic techniques such as program evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis have an important part to play in helping managers locate and recognize the creation of public value. Moore believes they are conceptually superior to benefit ' cost analysis as they 'look away from individual preferences and toward collectively established purposes' He goes on to say that public sector managers should look at administrative efficiency and program effectiveness not only in terms of cost, but also in terms of fairness and justice.
Benington states that public value is increasingly produced not by a single organization, but by inter-organizational partnerships and networks, and these results in dilemmas of measurement. Benington also highlights the difficulties with defining exactly what public value may result from a given activity, as well as difficulties associated with identifying all the numerous possible public value outcomes. He states that public value outcomes are complex and contested because they might include factors that are not easily registered on public satisfaction surveys.
Parston states that there have been a number of thoughtful frameworks and metrics introduced in the government sector, and that there has been agreement on some underlying principles such as the desirability to achieve balance between organizational productivity and spending efficiency. However he states that there is no clear consensus on how to measure value already created. He goes on to say that there is also no base-line in measurement: 'Public service organisations do not operate with a simple or even a single bottom line. Public services are intended to improve social outcomes, which can be defined simultaneously along several dimensions ' dimensions that are not always commensurable ' and that may even conflic'.
Mulgan outlines an alternative approach for judging public value; if considered by citizens that they are willing to give something up in return for it. Benington & Moore state that public value theory requires that any particular conception of public value, be highly responsive to the political authorizing environment, and closely tied to performance measurement systems used to generate internal accountability. It also advocates the creation of performance measurement systems that focus lower down the value chain e.g.client and citizen satisfaction. However close attention to organisational process measures should also be paid given that these reassure us that the organisations are operating fairly, efficiently and effectively.
Mulgan also reviews methods which could be used to measure public value including cost-benefit analysis; welfare economics; environmental economics; social accounting; 'value added' measures; and social impact assessment method'. He goes on to argue that paying too much attention to methods which try to monetize public value can lead to bad decisions as monetary value can obscure values. He goes on to argue that all measurements of complex effects are inherently difficult. He says that:
social science isn't robust enough to make any hard predictions about what causes will lead to what effects ' there are usually far too many variables involved. An even more fundamental problem is that these analytic methods presume that everyone agrees on what counts as valuable. But in many of the most important fields for government action ' like childcare, crime prevention or schooling ' the public are divided over values as well as value. This is why the economic models for thinking about public goods and externalities, though informative, are often inadequate to the real choices faced by policy makers and out of sync with public attitudes and politics.
THE MOTORWAY PROJECT & THE NHA
The M-2 is a motorway in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is 367 km long and connects Lahore with Islamabad. It passes through Kala Shah Kaku, Sheikhupura, Khanqah Dogran,Kot Sarwar, Pindi Bhattian, Salem, Lilla, Kot Momin, Kallar Kahar, Balksar, and Chakri before ending just outside the twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It then continues on to eventually become the M1 motorway linking the twin cities with Peshawar. The M-2 crosses the junction of the M3 (to Faisalabad) at Pindi Bhattian. It is part of Pakistan's Motorway Network. It is one of the most expensive motorways in Asia and has the highest pillared-bridge in Asia (at the Khewra Salt Range)
The M-2 was conceived by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his first term (1990'1993) and later inaugurated on November 26, 1997, during his second term. In late 2006, upgrades were made to the portion of the M-2 passing through the Salt Ranges due to increasing complaints of drivers. The upgrades included better marking of the road lines and increased size of road signs for easy visibility. The motorway provides a country wide link of limited access high speed highway to bring most parts of the country together which could result in greater economic growth, commercial activity and trade with ECO countries. It is envisaged that such a system of modern roads would enable Pakistan to step into the 21st century equipped with a first rate communication system. The Motorways of Pakistan are a network of high quality, international standard limited access highways in Pakistan, which are maintained and operated by the National Highway Authority. Pakistan's motorways are either six-lanes or four-lanes and are 'limited-access' with a minimum speed limit of 80 km/h and a maximum speed limit of 120 km/h. They have a central median and are fenced on the outside for safety and to prevent unauthorized access.
The vision of the motorway project is to provide a transportation system that allows anyone to go anywhere in the region easily and efficiently.
The mission of the motorway project is to provide the public with a safe and efficient countywide transportation system. The system increases access and mobility, reduces congestion, improves the environment, and supports economic development, thereby enhancing quality of life.
Cost of the Project:
It was a massive project involving 3 major river bridges, 8 interchanges, 27 flyovers, 17 bridges on canal, 39 bridges on drains and 4 overhead railway crossing, 183 subways and cattle creeps, 22 culverts on canals and 73 culverts on drains. The project was approved by the National Highway Council headed by the Prime minister of Pakistan in 1992 with 60 percent financing by the Government of Pakistan and 40 percent financing through foreign loans. The project was completed in December 1997 at an estimated cost of Rs.30.5 billion.
National Highways Authority (NHA)
In order to understand the concept of value creation in this regard, it was imperative that interviews be conducted with the Government functionaries controlling the Motorways. Luckily this opportunity came by during the Inland study tour, as a visit to NHA Head Quarters was also planned in its itinerary. The following facts are gathered from the presentation made by Mr. Usman Bajwa, Member (Administration) NHA, and various questions asked from him during informal sitting at lunch.
The growth of NHA as an organization is the result of the interest and vision of the present Government. NHA has been established under National Highway Act 1991 and its main functions are to plan, promote, organize and implement various construction and development operations and also include repair and maintenance of National Highways and the Motorways. It is headed by a Chairman, is supported by six wings including administration operations, planning, constructions, Public Private Partnership and finance while a GM Audit and GM Inspection, also support the Chairman.
NHA is a corporate body, which works under the Ministry of Communications and the National Highway Council, controls and directs the affairs of NHA. The general direction and administration of NHA and its affairs vest in the Executive Board comprising:
1. Chairman NHA (Chairman)
2. IG NHA & NP
3. Additional Secretary Finance
4. Member or additional Secrete P & D
5. Joined secretary Ministry of Communication
6. Senior Chief NTRC
7. VP Nespak
8. Member Finance NHA
9. Member Planning NHA
The National Highway Council derives its powers under section 6 of NHA Act and its functions include laying down National policies and guidelines that are to be followed by NHA. It also approves the annual budget and has the power to control, direct and regulate the affairs of NHA. In addition to that, it reviews and reappraises various projects and also approves the 5 year plans and perspective plans of NHA.
The Executive Board derives its Powers under section 8 of NHA Act and its main functions are to consider and approve proposals, schemes and projects exceeding Rs. 50 million but not exceeding Rs. 100 million and it also considers and recommends to CDWP and ECNEC proposals, schemes and projects exceeding Rs. 100 million. In addition to that, it also reviews NHA's progress reports and approves various projects to be funded through toll and other receipts.
It is estimated that 95% freight traffic and 90% of passenger traffic, takes place through roads, while 5% of Goods traffic is through rails and 10% passenger traffic is through rail and air. The total road network in Pakistan is 260,000 km out of which NHA controls 12,131 km which is only 4% of the total roads, but carries 80% of commercial traffic. He also deliberated upon NHA's current and future programs, which included regional connectivity as well as linkages with Gawadar. Its programs also include High speed North-South economic corridor and consolidation & up gradation of existing assets. In addition to that, it has developed vision for trade and transport sector, which includes improved trade competitiveness, establishing an efficient and well integrated transport system and it also aims at reducing transport costs and enhance the road density from 0.32 to 0.64 and also develop Pakistan as hub of sub regional connectivity.
There are 83 Foreign aided, Government and Deposit work projects with an estimated cost of Rs. 615208 million but the Government allocated only Rs.63039 million against that requirement. The three main projects, the NHA is excited to undertake is the Pak- China economic corridor which starts at Khunjerab and terminates at Gawadar with an approximate length of about 2400 km. The second project is the Karachi Lahore Motorway which is approximately 1160 km in length. The third project is Muzafrabad, Mangla, Mirpur express way which is about 196 km in length which originates from Muzafrabad and terminates at GT road near Dina. The start of constructions in these projects depends upon the detail, design and feasibility study.
The estimated value of NHA assets are approximately Rs.2500 billion and huge amounts are spent on their maintenance each year. NHA has also established a highway research and training center (HRTC) in collaboration with JICA. The road condition survey of NHA network has revealed that 60% of the roads are in fairly good condition while 40% of the roads are poor. An amount of Rs.30 billion is required during the next 5 years only for maintenance. As far as NHA revenues are concerned, a total of R.16118 million was generated by the NHA in 2012-13. Toll was 83% while Police fine accounted for 10% of the collected amount. Majority of the toll was collected in Punjab (60%) and Sindh (27%).
As far as various issues and challenges being faced by NHA, they included financial resource constraints regarding NHA programs and maintenance of roads. This is further aggravated by abnormal rates of inflation, price escalation, service standards and Law & Order situation in various parts of Pakistan. Other than that, the main challenge is capacity of NHA, its contractors and consultants and the relevant industry. Finally the diversity of Terrain and limited working season, also affects the pace of projects.
The major strengths of NHA are adoption of American standards that are being followed in maintenance of these roads. M2 Motorway which was constructed 16 years back and had a life of ten years but it is surviving because of high standards of maintenance by the NHA and it's still good to travel. However now there is a strategic shift in the government's policy which is now inclined towards BOT (Build Operate Transfer) for its new projects. It is the dawn of a new era for NHA as infrastructure development is the most expensive proposition which leaves little funds for repair and maintenance. India has also successfully implemented this policy and has benefitted as all investment is done by the private sector.
The Lahore-Islamabad motorway has benefitted Pakistan by improving the socio economics condition of the country. The multidimensional benefits of the project ought to bring healthy, social, economic, geographical and cultural change according to the sources. The technologies available today offer a number of ways in which we can better manage traffic flows on our motorways, including the hard shoulder to traffic during congested periods, as seen on the M2. They also offer the potential to implement other innovative managed motorway solutions, such as various form of traffic segregation and access control. Further, investment in infrastructure could support in vehicle communications with roadside equipment and other advanced technology system that could improve driver information, traffic management and road safety.
As Alastair Scrutton, a journalist from Reuters puts it
'If you want a slice of peace and stability in a country with a reputation for violence and chaos, try Pakistan's M2 motorway. At times foreign reporters need to a give a nation a rest from their instinctive cynicism. I feel like that with Pakistan each time I whizz along the M2 between Islamabad and Lahore, the only motorway I know that inspires me to write. Indeed, for sheer spotlessness, efficiency and emptiness there is nothing like the M2 in the rest of South Asia. There are many things in Pakistan that don't get into the news. Daily life, for one. Pakistani hospitality to strangers, foreigners like myself included, is another. The M2 is another sign that all is not what it appears in Pakistan that much lies hidden behind the bad news.
There have been various connotations associated with the Motorways. For once, the special highway police are considered incorruptible. For supporters of the project, it shows the potential of Pakistan. Its detractors say it was a waste of money, a white elephant that was a grandiose plaything for the then government. A relatively expensive toll means it is a motorway for the privileged. All these questions were kept in mind while preparing a questionnaire, and sending it to motorways users, in order to assess the public value component which I would discuss later.
So after all this discussion about the motorways and the inter related organizations, it seems that not only public value has been created by this project but it apparently will continue to be sustained as all the stakeholders including consumers, government, organizations and employees have managed to create an island of excellence within Pakistan. The hypothesis is also supported by the responses received against the questionnaires I sent to consumers in order to check if they're willing to sacrifice something in order to continue using the service. 100% percent of the consumers prefer travelling on Motorways compared to GT road while travelling from Lahore to Islamabad and vice versa. These included the travellers that used various bus services rather than their own transport. They prefer taking those buses that ply on the Motorways. On a question of the high toll fee, 90% of the data suggests that people are willing to pay the high toll fee in order to use the service while 10% of people expressed dissatisfaction of the high fee but said that they have to make this compromise for a better travelling experience. 100% of the people I sent my questionnaire praised the role of the Motorway police as being incorruptible, efficient and one of the main reasons for safety and security the passengers travelling on the Motorway as compared to any other Highway of Pakistan. When asked if they would continue to use the Motorway if the government steadily increases the toll fee after every year, 60% answered in affirmative, 30% made it conditional with their own income raise while 10% did not like the idea as they thought that it already takes a heavy toll on their pockets. These results tend to prove the hypothesis that for public value to be created by a government project or service it is necessary that the benefitting public should be willing and ready to sacrifice something in return. From the results of this questionnaire, it is observed that not only the public is willing to pay a heavy toll fee for continuing to use this service but they also are willing to pay more in the future if the standards of the service delivery remain the same. It is also proved, that in a lawless kind of state we currently live in where traffic violation on the road of metropolitan city is a norm, and we read about incidents of scuffles on daily basis Motorway police is one such organization which is adding to this public value by being efficient and just and making sure that no offender goes unpunished which is the basis of their success. That's the reason people accept their decisions and pay the fines when apprehended despite being very steep. I wonder what stops the authorities to replicate this model all over Pakistan.
So in a nutshell, we can say that public value would continue to be created and sustained as the enabling environment is there, the concerned government agencies are performing to a very high standard which includes maintenance of law and order as well as the roads. The public would continue to use the service as long as this triangle is maintained.
The Metro Bus Project
The Punjab government, after realizing the gravity of the situation in transport sector has taken up the same as a priority sector with the vision as 'Provision of efficient, economical, comfortable and safe transport facility for the public in Punjab'. The stated objectives, in the MTDF 2013-16 are:
i) To provide accessible and time saving travelling,
ii) To develop environment friendly transport system,
iii) To regulate, monitor and maintain a robust transport system in large cities of the province. The initiatives include encouraging private investment in urban transport sector in Public Private Partnership mode, provision of subsidy to the urban transporters to facilitate induction of new buses in the urban transport system and capacity building of the department through Transport Planning Unit. The current allocation for the sector is Rs. 6,360 Million.
Public transport service delivery was done by government till late 1980s to an acceptable level. The successive governments continued to act as a service provider as well as a regulator. As of 2010, the population of Lahore was estimated at about 9.9 million most of which was concentrated in the center of Lahore, while rest of the areas are mostly rural except for narrow strips along arterial roads where the development has been mostly unplanned.
With increase in population of Lahore (7.5 times since 1951) and gradual deterioration in infrastructure, rolling stock and capacity of the Transport Department, a vacuum started developing in the urban transport sector which was filled by private operators. Resultantly, there has been a high degree of proliferation of vans, rickshaws and Qingqis in city over the last ten years. Most of these vehicles still keep plying on roads without proper authorization or safety standards resulting in congestion and accidents.
To address this issue, several attempts were made by successive governments in 1990s and 2000s to revive the public urban transport sector. Most of them failed to produce desired results because of inherent inefficiencies in the public sector. In late 1990s, it was realized by the then political government that urban public transport cannot be ensured on sustainable basis without public sector intervention by giving incentives to the service providers. The government, therefore, decided in 1999 to: give exclusive franchise rights on specified routes to operators; give duty and tax exemptions at import stage for PSVs; take over 5% interest liabilities on operators for purchase of PSVs. As a result of these incentives, many new private operators came on scene by investing in urban public transport (e.g Varan, New Khan etc.). In 1999 with the change of government, financing and subsidy model was redesigned reducing the incentive for private sector which was further squeezed in 2000. A Supreme Court verdict in December 2004 declared franchise of routes with exclusive rights for operators as ultra vires for denying fair competition. Moreover, from 2005 onwards, the Federal Government encouraged consumer banking by giving loans at concessional rates for private vehicle purchase. This resulted in a sharp increase in private and commercial vehicles on the roads and disappearance of HOVs leading to increase in commuters' hardships, traffic congestion and environmental pollution. Consequent to the foregoing, private operators ran into losses and their operations were adversely affected. This is where the illegal public transport operators (mostly LOVs, Rickshaws and Qingqis) came into business demanding exorbitant fares and even misbehaving with the commuters.
In the above mentioned context, the key question for the government was: 'How to revive public urban transport and ensure efficient, affordable, comfortable and sustainable public transport to the people'?
To address this question, the current government conceptualized a master plan for provision of efficient and affordable urban transport in Lahore. In line with the well established international standards and guidelines of the World Bank, government recognized importance of the principle that service delivery in transport sector was responsibility of the government and it should not be a commercial activity.
The government of Punjab also commissioned a JICA feasibility study Lahore Urban Transport Mater Plan in 2010 which was completed in 2012. The vision was to develop an integrated public transport system in Lahore. Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan with estimated population of 10 million. The transport demand recently estimated by Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is 12 million trips, which includes 4 million short walking trips and 8 million motorized trips, on a usual weekday. The number of vehicles registered in Lahore increased sharply from 95 vehicles in 2001 to 238 vehicles in 2008; per 1000 population.
The Lahore Urban Transport Master Plan 2011, prepared by JICA, recommends seven BRT corridors in Lahore. Therefore, in the year 2011, the Government of Punjab appointed 'Ulasim' a Turkish based company of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, for preparing the preliminary design of Metrobus System (MBS).
The MBS is planned in integration with Multi-Modal Intercity Bus Terminals (MIBT), one terminal to be established on either side of the corridor, with Park & Ride plazas. The overall transportation map includes integration of Metrobus System & public transport routes, sub-urban railway, LRMTS (other lines), and taxi system in Lahore.
The Metrobus System Line-1 from Gajjumata to Shahdara is established in Lahore, and is the first system to be operated by PMA. MBS Line-1 is approximately 27 KM long running in the North-South direction through the heart of Lahore. Key locations throughout the city are targeted to allow maximum number of citizens from surrounding areas to avail the bus services. Initially, 27 stations were planned and built along the MBS corridor, which have been designed keeping in view the needs of the passengers.
With similar conditions and a larger commuter base, Delhi was a sample case study for present comparison as well as a future urban transport model design for Lahore. Lahore has presently one strip of 27km Metrobus (BRT) being run in an exclusive corridor with an average ridership of 180,000 per day which is subsidised by the government. This is supplemented by operation of HOVs by LTC which is regulating private operators who are plying an average of 500 buses on 29 routes by subsidising them. Besides these, LOVs are plying on 31 routes but without subsidy on routes allocated by LTC. Rickshaws and Qingqis are operational in private sector which is supposed to be regulated by LTC as a regulator but due to non-provision of subsidy and weak enforcement, their compliance level with the laws is low resulting in poor quality service, fares extortion, attitudinal issues, etc.
After introduction of Mass Rail Transit in Delhi, bus ridership decreased from 7m passenger trips in 2000-01 to 6m passenger trips in 2007-08 . Likewise, introduction of mass transit systems in Lahore is also likely to impact ridership in other sectors.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus Service is an under-construction bus rapid transit system which will connect key areas in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Upon completion it will be the second of its kind in Pakistan after the Lahore Metro bus Service. The 20 kilometer long Metro Bus Service is costing near Rs. 24 billion which will be shared by the federal and Punjab governments. The project envisages construction of over 20 km long dedicated signal free corridor of 9.60 to 10.10 meters width at normal section and from 19.00 to 21.10 meters width at Metro Bus System (MBS) stations and tranches in Islamabad Territory. The proposed corridor will accommodate articulated buses running simultaneously in both directions.
The system will start from IJ Principal Road at Faizabad where Rawalpindi portion terminates, and will traverse through IJ Principal Road, 9th Avenue, Jinnah Avenue and finally terminate at the Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad. The Islamabad portion also includes Peshawar Morr Interchange as per CDA design and a provision for 14 bus stations with allied facilities.It has been reported that the design prepared by the National Engineering Services Pakistan' the consultant firm for the project ' will harm the greenbelts by expanding two major avenues beyond the permissible limits in violation of the city's master plan. Rawalpindi Development Authority is executing the project, while it will have the capacity to carry 150,000 people daily. Inaugurated on February 28, 2014 it will be completed by January 2015. 60 air-conditioned buses would initially ply on the route
Now coming to my research about creation of public value with respect to Metro bus project, questionnaire was designed and handed over to various segments of the society using Metro bus or people associated and affected someway or the other with this project. It must be kept in mind that so far that the government is paying a huge subsidy for the users of this service which are primarily poor / lower middle class with a view to offer them respectable transportation methods. So, first of all I asked many people who are using this service if they were satisfied with the quality of service offered to them. 60% of the people expressed their satisfaction while 40% complained that the quality has deteriorated over time as air conditioners don't work at times and the buses break down too. On a question if they would continue to use this service if the government decides to double the fare, 70% responded negatively and stated that then they would look for alternative transportation. 30% people responded in affirmative but with condition that the ACs keep working in the summers and the buses don't break down enroute. Some commuters and motorists that use that route but not the Metro bus were also asked about their views on the project. Although 90% of them agreed that the government has taken a good step for the poor but they expressed their dissatisfaction about the time when this project was under construction and the enormous difficulties people had to face on a daily basis for almost a year. Some were skeptical that the project won't last long as the amount of finances required to maintain the buses and the facilities thereon would not be provided as the project is mainly aimed for poor people and no one in the government cares for them much. So, there was a visible pessimism in those responses. While I was on my inland study tour, I asked about the proposed Metro bus project in Rawalpindi. Very strangely, almost everyone had apprehensions about this project regarding the inconvenience it will bring to the people of Rawalpindi during its construction and many businesses located within its construction site would also suffer badly. Thus I observed from these results that Metro Bus project though noble in its intentions has not created much of a public value in its classical definition and it seems unlikely to sustain it because people who are the main stakeholders here but not willing to sacrifice anything in return.
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