New models of governance and public services

Localism, decentralisation, market making and ICT

Clueless on Contracting

, 11 December 2014

In our report Making Public Service Markets Work we argued that there should be: more attention on ongoing oversight of contracts rather than just signing deals greater transparency of and clearer accountability for success and failures and more attention to stimulating competition for contracts, so that government isn’t left with a poor selection of...

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Guest blog – It Takes Three: How New Zealand Thinks About Arm’s-Length Bodies

, 9 December 2014

New Zealand, like the UK and other western liberal democracies, has yet to be satisfied with the overall performance of its arm’s-length body (ALB) arrangements. New Zealand’s ALB or Crown entity system was reformed in the early 2000s. The Crown Entities Act 2004 set out to establish an integrated governance and accountability regime that...

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Taking transparency to taskforce

, 19 November 2014

Yesterday’s launch of the Open Contracting Data Standard marked a significant step in enabling governments to be more transparent about their contracting arrangements of public services. Last week the Institute for Government, in collaboration with the CBI, looked at practical ways to change transparency in contracting from a ‘nice to have’ to the new...

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Resolving confusion: the unaddressed issue of public bodies reform

, 12 November 2014

Three years on from the passing of the Coalition’s government’s Public Bodies Act and a period of reform in the UK, how far has the system of arm’s-length government in the UK improved? The answer of course, depends on what the diagnosis of the original problem was.

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Patchwork Britain

, 5 November 2014

Greater Manchester has won itself more powers in return for introducing a directly elected mayor. The move confirms that politicians are learning what works when trying to decentralise power. And there are several signs suggesting that decentralisation will not stop here.

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Decentralisation power plays

, 22 October 2014

Everyone wants a piece of the decentralisation cake - but there are too many cooks and disagreements about who is head chef.

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How to devolve power – ideas from the Labour Party Conference

, 26 September 2014

Party conference season is upon us. As the last conferences before next May’s general election, they are particularly important this year. Not only do parties need to galvanise their support base, but it’s also time for them to start promoting their 2015 policy pledges.

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The new English question?

, 16 September 2014

The prospect of further devolution to Scotland and the home nations makes decentralisation in England more likely – but far from certain.

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Bringing a post – and a policy – into disrepute

, 29 August 2014

The last thing the advocates of Police and Crime Commissioners needed was the unedifying prospect of Shaun Wright grimly hanging on to his position as PCC for South Yorkshire in the wake of the Rotherham scandal, being disowned by his own party and denounced by the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister.

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Building a ‘northern powerhouse’: it may(or may not) work

, 24 June 2014

George Osborne has set out his vision for the future of Britain’s northern cities, proposing new mayors with Boris Johnson-style powers. This is a positive development, but has he considered barriers to decentralisation that we’ve recently identified?

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