Archive for Julian McCrae

Julian is a Fellow of the Institute for Government. He has been a Deputy Director at the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, leading its work on social mobility, welfare policies and economics. He has also worked at the Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions and for the the Institute for Fiscal Studies. More about Julian

Julian McCrae’s Posts

A response to Martin Donnelly’s speech on the Civil Service

, 9 September 2014

A response to Martin Donnelly's justification of the traditional policy role of the civil service.

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A CEO for the Civil Service: what could it mean?

, 22 July 2014

Sir Jeremy Heywood made clear to Parliament last week that the Prime Minister has decided that he wants a "chief executive of the civil service". So what might the Prime Minister mean by this?

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Clarifying accountability – the latest objectives for permanent secretaries

, 11 July 2014

The objectives for permanent secretaries for 2014-15 form the basis for their performance management. The objectives will be used by the Cabinet Secretary or the Head of the Civil Service – the permanent secretaries are managed between them – for annual appraisal discussions and pay awards. The Institute was highly critical when the last...

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£14.3bn of efficiency savings: good or bad?

, 10 June 2014

Many of us have witnessed very large numbers being claimed for efficiency savings, but always had an uneasy feeling that they might be, shall we say, illusional. The classic example is around Gershon’s efficiency savings, where the NAO could only substantiate around a quarter of the savings. Over the past few years, Francis Maude...

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Clarity of accountability – are permanent secretary objectives helping?

, 27 January 2014

Permanent secretaries’ objectives notionally form the basis for their performance management. They are used by the Cabinet Secretary or the Head of the Civil Service – the permanent secretaries are managed between them – as the basis for permanent secretaries’ annual appraisal discussions and pay awards. At that classic ‘hope you miss this’ time,...

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The spending round: What to watch for on Wednesday

, 25 June 2013

Outside Whitehall local authorities are bracing themselves for big cuts, with some speculating they could lose as much as 12% from their central grants. There will also be a chance to glimpse the more distant, post-election future. Watch what happens to the ringfences. Some may remain intact (maybe schools). Others may survive for now...

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Finance function: time for a Whitehall shake-up?

, 24 April 2013

What’s the role of finance at the centre of any complex sets of organisations? Sir Nick Macpherson recently set out a clear view in regard to the Treasury. It ‘sets the public expenditure totals,’ said the permanent secretary. It does not involve itself in ‘the efficiency improvements necessary to maintain services at a time...

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The dull bits of avoiding plane and political crashes

, 18 November 2011

I hate flying. And being maybe a little overly analytic, I find knowing as much as possible about how and why planes crash helps me relax. So I’m an avid fan to the ‘plane crash emergency’ shows on TV. They’ve all got a fixed structure. First the very real disaster of the crash itself,...

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The fiscal squeeze: now it gets real

, 1 April 2011

I’ve just returned from giving a seminar in Berlin to public servants from various European countries. They were eager for more details on the UK’s fiscal consolidation.

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The changing structure of public spending – accident or design?

, 2 November 2010

In 2006/07, I suspect very few people would have agreed that the government should: increase the share of our national income spent on pensioner benefits, the NHS and overseas aid through reduced spend on education, law and order, defence in the event of an unexpected recession, finance the interest on the debt through further reductions...

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