Archive for Akash Paun

Akash is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government. He has worked on a number of research projects including the impact of a hung parliament on Westminster and Whitehall and is currently leading the Institute’s work on coalition government. More about Akash

Akash Paun’s Posts

Wish you were here? Tales from New Zealand’s journey of civil service reform

, 14 July 2014

Much of the language used and aspirations conveyed by Mr Rennie sounded familiar to followers of the UK’s civil service reform agenda. However, Mr Rennie’s presentation (and the response by Mark Lowcock, permanent secretary at the Department for International Development, and head of a working group on accountability arrangements in Whitehall), also illustrated some...

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One Service, Two Guv’nors: How Whitehall serves the Coalition in the final year

, 6 May 2014

Today the UK’s first postwar coalition government enters its fifth year in office with every expectation of reaching the end of the fixed parliamentary term. This is an achievement in itself – there were many who doubted the Coalition’s viability and longevity at its inception. But how will the Coalition work in its final...

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Separate space: Lessons from Scotland for the end of coalition

, 3 April 2014

In our new research paper, the Institute for Government discusses lessons Whitehall could learn from Scotland, and the ‘separate space’ system that operated in the final months of the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition up until 2007. Separate space allowed the two coalition parties – and the major opposition parties – to receive civil service support...

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50 ways to leave a coalition – and how to govern in the final phase

, 28 November 2013

These questions – and more – are the subject of a seminar at the Institute for Government – ‘50 Ways to Leave a Coalition’. In practice, there may not be 50 distinct scenarios, but as our panellists from the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Sweden will illustrate, there are quite a range of potential endgames....

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Sterling for subs? Scotland’s referendum and the future of the UK

, 1 November 2013

As Professor Iain McLean, expert on Scottish politics and history, told the audience, constitutional preferences among Scottish voters have been ’remarkably stable’ over a long period. Data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showed that support for independence has never topped 37% since the survey began in 1997, and has if anything declined since...

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Ministerial private offices need a boost

, 16 April 2013

Awaiting the minister in the department will be a private office, a ‘life support machine’ that sustains each minister from the minute they arrive. This small group of officials plays a key role in helping each minister to carry out his or her role effectively, yet its own basic structure and role is rarely...

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Much ado about nothing? The row over ministerial involvement in permanent secretary appointments

, 11 December 2012

Last week’s decision by the prime minister to block the appointment of David Kennedy as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change has rekindled the debate on the role of ministers in civil service appointments. The debate was initially sparked by the Civil Service Reform Plan, published in June 2012, which...

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Ministerial involvement in civil service appointments

, 10 October 2012

In a speech at the Institute for Government on 2 October, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude set out his case for giving ministers a greater role in the appointment of permanent secretaries, in a week in which the mishandled West Coast rail franchise decision kept the issue of civil service accountability in the spotlight....

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Reshuffle: the verdict

, 5 September 2012

Reshuffles can achieve a number of objectives, but they rarely solve the government’s big problems, and carry risks of their own, as we discussed in our recent discussion paper Shuffling the Pack. One problem is that reshuffles can highlight a prime minister’s weakness as much as his power. For David Cameron, the main constraint...

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Where next for the coalition?

, 7 August 2012

Yesterday’s announcements by Nick Clegg that Lords reform plans were being dropped in the face of Conservative opposition, and that the Lib Dems would veto the Tories’ boundary changes in return, has triggered another bout of speculation about whether the coalition can survive till 2015, and what can be done to avoid collapse. One...

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