A more effective Whitehall

Civil servants, ministers, the centre and departments

Fighting FOIA with FOIA: freedom of information statistics for 2014

, 28 April 2015

The latest annual data not only tells us how many Freedom of Information requests departments received and how they dealt with them, but also the number of reviews and appeals to the Information Commissioner. Gavin Freeguard looks through the numbers.

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26 Bills Later: Legislation During the ‘Zombie Parliament’

, 23 April 2015

We now have a full list of primary legislation passed into law in the 2014-15 parliamentary session under the Coalition – and during the whole 2010-15 parliament. Did it become, as some suggested, a ‘zombie parliament’? Gavin Freeguard looks at the law data. We have excluded private bills, private members’ bills, secondary legislation like...

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Counting down to the election: the latest civil service staff numbers

, 9 April 2015

The civil service now employs 405,400 FTE, down 1,290 on the previous quarter. The last quarterly staff numbers release before the election shows that the Civil Service has reduced in size by 15% since Q3 2010.  The Civil Service has continued to shrink in the last quarter.  But even this is still some way...

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Paid more than the PM: will freedom on pay packets close skills gaps in the Civil Service?

, 8 April 2015

Late last month, the government announced that Tony Douglas, currently the chief executive of Abu Dhabi airports, has been appointed as Chief Executive of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the MOD. Douglas will become one of the country’s highest paid civil servants with responsibility for the government’s £163 billion 10-year...

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Deep impact? How government departments measured their impact under the Coalition

, 2 April 2015

What impact have government departments had in the real world under the Coalition? A new Whitehall Monitor report analyses government departments’ ‘impact indicators’, part of the Coalition’s cross-government system of performance measurement.

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Building on long term Whitehall reform will help the next government to deliver

, 25 March 2015

The new government in May will face big challenges. They will want to deliver on manifesto promises – ranging from large infrastructure projects like HS2, to reforming public services like the NHS, to building more homes – while improving the day-to-day workings of government to ensure money isn’t wasted. Doing this is not straightforward....

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20 things about delivery from Michael Barber (and 3 stories about a neglected American President) you really need to know

, 20 March 2015

Yes, we’ve gone a bit Buzzfeed. As Barber himself did in the Independent on Sunday. It was ‘not exactly a launch’ – that happened at the LSE earlier this week – but rather ‘further discussion’ about the book, according to Peter Riddell. But the clear, succinct lessons Barber outlined about delivery or implementation of...

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Let’s check the PM’s power to reshape Whitehall

, 10 March 2015

Prime ministers should have to show that changes to the civil service’s departmental structures serve the public interest rather than narrow party-political or personnel management goals, argues Tom Gash of the Institute for Government.

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Guest blog: A word on ‘machinery of government’ changes – from a man who knows

, 9 March 2015

Ian Watmore set up the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills – and though he’s proud of what he achieved, he warns that such changes are much more expensive and complicated than people anticipate

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Doing what matters with less: the Fast Stream conference 2015

, 25 February 2015

This year’s Civil Service Fast Stream conference was organised around the theme of ‘Doing more what matters with less’, challenging fast streamers to answer how the Civil Service ‘can better prioritise and deliver what the UK needs most’ against a background of further spending reductions. Gavin Freeguard was one of the ‘dragons’...

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