Parliament and the political process

Streaming data: Civil Service Fast Stream recruitment in six charts

, 20 October 2014

The latest statistics on the Civil Service Fast Stream are in the news today, through the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s State of the Nation report and an article by Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister, Gloria de Piero. Petr Bouchal and Gavin Freeguard look at the longer-term trends.

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The updated guidance on the Osmotherly Rules

, 20 October 2014

Civil servants running the biggest projects will now be directly accountable to Parliament. The 34-year-old Osmotherly rules, providing guidance for ministers and civil servants appearing before select committees, have been rewritten to allow parliamentary select committees to question key officials (the Senior Responsible Owners or SROs) about the implementation of key projects.

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By Prime Ministerial Appointment: the PM and Permanent Secretaries

, 17 October 2014

The Civil Service Commission had gone out on a limb on the issue of Permanent Secretary appointments in face of the views of the three main parties and many senior civil servants. So its latest announcement that the Prime Minister will, in future, be given a choice of candidates for around 25 heads of...

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Devo Gaps: Parties remain far apart on Scottish devolution plans

, 10 October 2014

Just three weeks ago the people of Scotland voted to stay in the UK. Today, the debate on the next phase of devolution begins in earnest as Scotland’s five main political parties (the four you would guess plus the Scottish Greens) have submitted their proposals to Lord Smith of Kelvin – the one-man commission...

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Total recall: the background to the recall of Parliament

, 25 September 2014

Parliament is being recalled on Friday to debate the UK response to the Iraqi Government's request for support against ISIL. But what is ‘recall’, how is it decided when MPs and peers should be summoned back to Westminster when Parliament isn’t sitting, and how unusual is it?

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I-Parliament?

, 12 September 2014

The government has made much of ‘digital by default’. Now Parliament is getting in on the act with its new e-system for written questions. How might it make a difference?

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16 scenarios for governing after the referendum

, 11 September 2014

In this context, the Institute for Government publishes today a new scenarios analysis paper that looks at the effects and the implementation challenges of 16 distinct scenarios – 10 for Scotland, 4 for Wales and 2 for Northern Ireland – ranging from the status quo in each country, through various proposed systems for further...

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Every committee wants its say: Parliamentary scrutiny in the run up to the general election

, 3 September 2014

A relatively thin Queen’s speech last June had many speculating that a lacklustre “zombie parliament” lay in store for the 2014-2015 session. We thought it would be interesting to examine the data on select committee activity in the run up to the last general election to see whether the “zombie parliament” label is...

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Dissolving a Civil Partnership: the Home Civil Service after Independence

, 29 August 2014

At present, almost 44,000 civil servants are working in Scotland: 27,000 for UK Government departments and around 17,000 for the Scottish Government. It is not clear what will happen to these civil servants in the event of independence.

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Commons divisions

, 29 August 2014

The normal tranquillity of Westminster in August has been broken this year by a rumbling row over the appointment of the next Clerk of the House. The interviews for the top official in the House of Commons were completed in July. But the final stage of the process, whereby the name of the candidate...

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