Never before has the window for a far-reaching modernization process of the public sector been so open. The volume in question documents the papers of the II. and III. International Speyer Workshops in 1992 and 1993. The first part of the volume gives an overview of new developments in the modernization of the public sector such as the learning organization, the role of information technology and modernization strategies. The second part focuses on concepts and methods of awarding excellence in the public sector. Scientists from Norway, Sweden, Italy, Canada, the United States and Germany analyze the design and findings of quality competition awards in their countries. Contributions from Great Britain and Belgium discuss the concept of Citizen Charters. Other rather theoretical papers critically analyze the function of quality awards and the 'new public management' paradigm.