A more effective Whitehall

Civil servants, ministers, the centre and departments

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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Challenges facing the new Civil Service chief executive

, 29 July 2014

The new CEO will have important roles, but more modest and limited than those of a chief executive as normally understood. He or she will not run the Civil Service or line manage Permanent Secretaries, as a CEO elsewhere would. So what does the job involve? And will it help fix any of the...

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Guest blog: a response to Martin Donnelly’s speech on the Civil Service

, 28 July 2014

There is a view that the Coalition is going further than its predecessors in wising to break the Northcote-Trevelyan settlement. It is noteworthy that a senior mandarin has put the case for civil service neutrality. Donnelly says much that makes sense but perhaps pulls his punches. He could reasonably ask whether in our parliamentary...

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Equality control? Some final data from the recent reshuffle

, 23 July 2014

With David Cameron’s reshuffle now apparently complete, Gavin Freeguard and Caragh Nimmo update the graphs from the Whitehall Monitor live-blog one last time

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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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