Guest posts

Quotas: the key to gender equality?

, 26 October 2015

Earlier this month, Suffragette hit UK movie screens and the Women’s Equality Party launched its policy platform. The party established by the heirs of the suffragettes has attracted 45,000 members in a few short months. It is clear that the debate about gender equality in the UK is intensifying. Last week, the London School...

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Guest blog: The Open Data Barometer

, 26 January 2015

Governments worldwide have acknowledged the potential of Open Government Data to reduce corruption, increase transparency, and improve government services. To keep track of progress, and advocate for solutions to challenges, the World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) produces an annual report – the Open Data Barometer. The second edition, released this week, showed slow...

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The decline in public trust in government

, 26 July 2013

For example the recent one year on report on the civil service reform plan proposes to: give ministers the power to extend their ministerial office by making personal appointments of additional special advisers and other external appointees having already increased ministerial involvement in the permanent secretary appointment,  move to a fixed tenure appointment for...

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Whitehall – a breakdown of confidence or a breakdown of competence?

, 16 July 2013

The rumblings The press is full of questions about the accountability and competence of the senior civil service. Francis Maude, amongst others, has spoken critically of the Civil Service and recognised that the 2012 white paper has not led to transformative change. Of course, the professional defenders of the Civil Service point to its...

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Why has trust in civil servants gone up?

, 4 March 2013

And this interest is despite the rank order generally not changing much. We can guarantee that doctors will be at the top: we have measured trust in doctors in the middle of any number of high profile medical scandals, and there is no impact. We can also guarantee that journalists and politicians will be...

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Guest blog — Civil service reform: breaking out of ‘the doom loop’

, 16 March 2012

The Cabinet Office default approach to reform is as follows: White Papers, a Cabinet Office DG, reform strands led by permanent secretaries, action plans for departments, units to monitor departmental progress, annual reports on progress. Like medieval Italian warfare, all these things will be beautifully paraded, but when the final trumpets have sounded, everyone...

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Financing efficiency

Adrian Brown posted an excellent and thought-provoking piece earlier this week on government’s inability to price, distribute and understand risk in its efforts to improve public services. In it, he cited this week’s SMF paper on risks to the viability of the Work Programme, and the Treasury Committee’s recent report on the poor value...

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