Archive for July, 2012

Civil Service Reform: learning from failure

, 31 July 2012

This latest case study in our Reforming the Civil Service series should be required reading for the civil servants charged with shaping and implementing various parts of the new Civil Service Reform Plan. The CMPS aimed to be both “a hub for thinking in Whitehall and a body overseeing and providing direction to civil service...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | 1 Comment »

Undoing GOD’s work? Will gains women made at the top of Whitehall prove short-lived?

, 26 July 2012

Gus’s favourite statistic never bore that much scrutiny – in reality there were many more men with the rank of permanent secretary who did not “count” – whether the proliferation of permanent secretaries at the centre or ambassadors with permanent secretary rank. But at one point, some time in early 2011, it was possible to claim...

Posted in Leadership for government | 4 Comments »

A mission impossible?

, 26 July 2012

Yet the fact that it is politicians makes it newsworthy. There is no reason why this should be so – they are doing jobs like most people, albeit of a high profile kind, and will be judged on their performance. Also, like most organisations, government, is getting flatter in structure with less room to...

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Blame Games

, 20 July 2012

This week, there has been an odd sense of glee at G4S’s failure to provide staff to man the gates at this summer’s Olympics. From the looks of things the Home Affairs Select Committee thoroughly enjoyed their savaging of G4S chief executive, Nick Buckles, as did media onlookers. Ed Miliband found the story useful...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | 2 Comments »

The end of Capability Reviews: long live DIMs and DIPs?

, 20 July 2012

“It is the right time to change the current arrangements” according to the Civil Service Reform Plan. Capability Reviews, which started in 2005 and have just completed a third and final phase, are to be scrapped in favour of a new ‘departmental improvement model’ (a DIM) and ‘departmental improvement plans’ (DIPs). Is the Civil...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | 4 Comments »

Policy post-mortem: understanding what went wrong with the health and social care act

, 12 July 2012

Nicholas Timmins’s report, Never Again? aims at explaining how the coalition, which had promised an end to top down reorganisations of the NHS managed to end up presiding over the biggest reorganisation since it was founded; and in doing so lost the Conservatives the credibility David Cameron had so painstakingly sought to build up...

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City Deals: give and take?

, 9 July 2012

In December last year the Cities Policy Unit announced a range of powers which they were considering giving away to cities. The Government was however, careful to explain that “the ‘deal’ must be a genuine transaction – with both parties willing to offer up and demand things in return.” Did the deals actually involve...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | 1 Comment »

The new default: what can we learn from efforts to open up policy making

, 5 July 2012

The closed Whitehall policy process has exceeded its best before date if the Civil Service Reform Plan is to be taken seriously. The drafters agreed that Whitehall does not have a monopoly of policy wisdom and that the process will benefit from becoming more porous. The plan suggests various ways policy making can be...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall, Better policy making | 2 Comments »

House of Lords reform and ministers

, 2 July 2012

While most ministers are currently members of the House of Commons, around a fifth come from the upper house. These Lords ministers can be put into two distinct categories: those drawn from a party’s members in the Lords to both represent a department in that house and help steer legislation; and the rarer so-called...

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