A more effective Whitehall

Civil servants, ministers, the centre and departments

A porous Civil Service – will insiders finally help outsiders succeed in Whitehall?

, 1 October 2015

At Institute for Government event last week, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood was eloquent about his vision for a more porous Civil Service: “I don’t think we are going to have as many people coming in at age 21, working for 30-odd years or 40 years; people will want more, or at least the...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

The role of the modern Cabinet Secretary: a conversation with Sir Jeremy Heywood

, 29 September 2015

“It doesn’t particularly change as one person succeeds another… but rather depends on the circumstances. It changes according to the tastes and preferences of the Prime Minister.” Sir Jeremy Heywood occupies one of the most influential positions in the British Government, which has grown more complex during his tenure. Appointed...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

Diversity in the Civil Service: Women and Whitehall since 1979

, 25 September 2015

Earlier this week the Cabinet Secretary appointed four new diversity advisers – high-profile figures from business and sport – to provide advice and challenge for ministers and senior officials as they try to make the Civil Service more representative of the country it serves. These appointments are the most recent manifestation of Whitehall’s attempts...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

FOIA fighters: how departments dealt with Freedom of Information requests in the first quarter of the new government

, 25 September 2015

As we have discussed in previous blogs, over 100,000 public bodies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Despite responsibility for FoI policy transferring to the Cabinet Office in July (alongside the establishment of a cross-party Commission to review the Act) and sponsorship of the Information Commissioner’s Office transferring to DCMS, the Ministry...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

The smarter state and the spending review

, 23 September 2015

Getting the spending review right – delivering in the PM’s words ‘better value for taxpayers but better services too’– is central to the success of the Government’s programme between now and 2020. The Institute for Government shares Cameron’s aspirations for more effective government and agrees that the spending review will only work if there...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

Civil Service staff numbers Q2 2015: down, but not as much as expected

, 17 September 2015

There are now 397,850 civil servants (FTE), down 7,920 from the previous quarter. The Government is reporting a reduction of 7,920 in the number of civil servants in the last quarter. This large reduction has brought the government closer to the aspiration set out in the 2012 Civil Service Reform plan – that there...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

Experienced Labour: the Labour frontbench 2010–15

, 10 September 2015

Ministerial stability is important: it allows ministers to build up experience and maintain focus. The same could be said for Opposition frontbenchers, who have to balance long-term policy development with other commitments (like responding to media stories) and without the benefit of the Civil Service. The coming weeks could see big changes to the...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

Estate of the nation: the government estate since 2010

, 9 September 2015

Three quarters of the government estate is taken up by just five departments – DWP, MoJ, BIS, HMRC and DfT. Government departments are big, not just in spending power but also the physical space they occupy. In 2014, according to the most recent State of the Estate, the core government departments took up 8.2...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

The numbers behind the efficiency savings

, 25 August 2015

The government’s latest figures for efficiency savings were published on 17th August. The headline figure looked encouraging: £18.6bn saved in 2014/15, up 25% on a like-for-like basis from 2013/14. This might sound very positive, but is rather misleading. Both this year’s and last year’s numbers are measured against a 2009/10 baseline, so the savings...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »

Demographic audit: diversity of appointments to public bodies

, 19 August 2015

A few weeks ago, the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) published its annual statistics. OCPA ‘regulates the processes by which Ministers (including Welsh Ministers) make appointments to the boards of national and regional public bodies’, so the annual statistics show us how many appointments and reappointments were made over the year,...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | No Comments »