Right To Know

At the RTK, we are passionate about peoples’ right to know. Their right to know how their services are being delivered, the right to know that public money is being spent on what works, and the right to know public services are being delivered efficiently and effectively.

We are in the data business. We know that having the right performance data is absolutely crucial to the successful delivery of any business, public or private sector. As successive Audit Commission reports have gone to great lengths to emphasize, robust measurement and evaluation sits at the heart of effective services.

The introduction of Payment by Results (PbR) in public sector service commissioning has made the need for effective management data processes even more urgent. The government’s Open Public Services White Paper claims that PbR will ‘provide a constant and tough financial incentive for providers to deliver good services throughout the term of the contract’.

Where service commissioners are paying providers according to how well they achieve specified outcomes, it is essential they have robust measures of cost, quality and impact. The RTK team help both commissioners and providers to establish and then run their own performance management data systems. We ensure all key elements of a service are measured, counting what counts, not just what can be counted. We seek out existing sources of information to ensure data are collected cost effectively. We encourage service providers to collect their own performance data in a way that can help them see for themselves where there might be efficiency savings or improvements in effectiveness to be made.

Our sector experts know what needs to be measured, and where to find the right data. We have years of experience of working with providers and commissioners, of collecting and analyzing data to monitor and improve delivery, and supporting people who make decisions by providing them with the right information at the right time in a language they can understand.

The right to know (the RTK) takes its name from a painting by American artist Norman Rockwell. The original was produced for the August 1968 edition of Look magazine. It shows a large group of people, including the artist himself, actually painted from photographs of individuals arranged into a composition in the artist’s studio. The painting deals with the subject of ‘justice for all’, a phrase taken from the US Pledge of Allegiance, first recited in 1892 to honor the four hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic to the Americas.