A more effective Whitehall

Civil servants, ministers, the centre and departments

How to build an effective government

, 26 March 2015

Every government comes to power eager to deliver on its manifesto pledges and policy ideas. Yet our polling shows the just 1 in 6 of us believe politicians focus on fulfilling their election pledges. This mismatch between ambition and perception may be explained by another widely held opinion – most of us don’t believe...

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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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National security inputs: more expertise = more effective decision making?

, 24 February 2015

The 2010 reforms creating the National Security Council and National Security Adviser improved co-ordination in national security decision making. But good decisions require high quality advice and analysis: government now needs to improve the national security expertise informing decision makers.

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Plenty of food for thought – but choose carefully from the menu

, 13 February 2015

The new think tank GovernUp has published six papers on reforming government. Julian McCrae reflects on some of the ideas.

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Guest blog: Get off the ring-fence

, 10 February 2015

Emran Mian, Director of the Social Market Foundation, argues that declaring budget ring-fences one by one is no way to plan for cuts in the next parliament.

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John Manzoni sets out his priorities as chief executive of the Civil Service

, 4 February 2015

“Everything I say tonight is through a lens of implementation,” said John Manzoni as he began his keynote address on civil service reform at the Institute for Government. It’s central to how he sees his role as chief executive and a perspective “that is the only value that someone like me can bring to...

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