A more effective Whitehall

Civil servants, ministers, the centre and departments

In with a CEO – out with another Major Projects Authority head

, 10 October 2014

The Civil Service Reform Plan committed significantly to reduce turnover among senior responsible owners. The guardian of major projects is proving to be modelling the problem it seeks to change.

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How the Civil Service has changed – in six charts

, 9 October 2014

The Office of National Statistics has published the latest Annual Civil Service Statistics data. Petr Bouchal and Gavin Freeguard look at what it tells us about the composition of the Civil Service.

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Civil Service Reform two years on: some optimism and a little fear

, 7 October 2014

It was a quiet three months after the second anniversary of the 2012 Civil Service Reform plan passed in June. But suddenly in the last 10 days there has been a flurry of activity to excite the civil service reformer.

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The challenge for new civil service CEO John Manzoni

, 3 October 2014

The challenge facing John Manzoni as the new chief executive of the Civil Service is to show that central leadership can improve performance across Whitehall. That goal has eluded his predecessors in part because of insufficient authority in face of entrenched departmental interests, as well as handling departments at times in too controlling a...

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Oops, she does it again: now Theresa May takes over the struggling passport agency

, 29 September 2014

In April 2013, the Home Secretary announced that the troubled UK Borders Agency would be reabsorbed back into the Home Office. At the time we commented that this move alone did not address the underlying issues. Now, 18 months later, the UK Passport Office faces the same fate.

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Delivery – what the UK can learn from Maryland and elsewhere

, 22 September 2014

Look at any list of Democrat presidential contenders for 2016 and you’re likely to find Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley. And if he does decide to run he’ll certainly point to his track record of delivery in office – helped by combining a delivery unit with data science and transparency. O'Malley is one of a...

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Numbers game: the latest Civil Service staff numbers

, 17 September 2014

The total number of civil servants is 408,010, up 2,940 on the previous quarter. This is only the second quarter since Spending Review 2010 where the Civil Service has grown compared to the previous one. This is because 9,100 probation staff are counted as civil servants for the first time, having joined the National...

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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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Turning on the TAP: will the government’s new diversity action plan deliver the wanted pipeline of female talent?

, 5 September 2014

“I would not want to join the culture. It’s really insidious and I have witnessed too many women fail. Women I have admired, women who have succeeded previously. All torn apart, all gone. It’s a hideous male macho culture at the top with favourites and deals in smoke filled rooms. It’s the first time...

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Guest blog: Bernard Jenkin MP on permanent secretary objectives and role of Civil Service CEO

, 31 July 2014

The Civil Service is one of the great institutions of state. Under our constitution, the executive exercises the Royal Prerogative and enjoys substantial de facto control over the legislature and appointments to the judiciary. Governments come and go, and having no codified constitution, or formal separation of powers, Parliament depends upon this body of...

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