Archive for November, 2012

What a preDECCament

, 30 November 2012

“Ministerial involvement is actively encouraged for permanent secretary and other key competitions – it is a critical part of getting the right person for the job”. So wrote Civil Service Commissioner Sir David Normington to The Times, the day after the Civil Service Reform Plan was published. “They can even veto the panel’s...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | 2 Comments »

So you’re re-engaged?

, 28 November 2012

The 2012 Civil Service People Survey results, published today, provide the most comprehensive and up to date picture of how ‘engaged’ civil servants currently feel at work. The survey had 297,000 responses across 97 departments and agencies. It asks over 50 questions building up a detailed picture of what civil servants think about issues...

Tags:
Posted in A more effective Whitehall | 2 Comments »

Non-payment for non-results

, 27 November 2012

The Work Programme, introduced by the Coalition in the summer of 2011, was meant to be the route to efficient and effective employment services. Under the scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pays providers of employment services to help the long-term unemployed back to work. Private and voluntary sector companies are paid...

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

Permanent secretaries?

, 20 November 2012

As the graph shows, turnover among ‘permanent’ secretaries has been substantial since the Government was elected in May 2010. Just two departments have kept the same permanent secretary throughout: HMT and DCMS. MoD, Cabinet Office and DfT have each had four permanent secretaries (including acting heads of department). The department average is two permanent...

Posted in A more effective Whitehall | Comments Off

What next for police and crime commissioners?

, 16 November 2012

At the time of writing, the election process for police and crime commissioners looks like it has been even less successful than many feared. The turnout, estimated at around 15%, appears to be the lowest ever in a national election. Worse, the fortunes of PCC candidates seem largely to be mirroring the fortunes of...

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

Department for Education Review: A blueprint for transformation?

, 15 November 2012

The Civil Service Reform Plan published in June included a number of actions that we felt could be a catalyst for lasting reform. The DfE review is the first of those ideas that has been taken to the next stage. Back in June we said: “ could become a practical way to shed much...

Tags:
Posted in A more effective Whitehall | Comments Off

Police and crimewatch

, 14 November 2012

Whatever happens tomorrow, one thing is certain. England and Wales will end up with 41 PCCs and a new system for setting policing priorities and holding chief constables to account. For some, including many in government, this itself is a success. An important pillar of the Coalition’s programme for government will have been implemented...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | Comments Off

Making a quick escape from prisons contracting?

, 13 November 2012

In May 1992, HMP Wolds, the UK’s first privately run prison was opened. Today, 14 out of 141 prisons in England and Wales are private or ‘contracted out’. Last year, then Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced plans to contract out the management of a further eight prisons, and, in April 2012, his department oversaw...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | Comments Off

“Tsars” in their eyes

, 12 November 2012

Since 1997, governments have asked over 250 outsiders to help them solve policy problems or act as envoys or advocates on behalf of government on a particular issue.  Solesbury and Levitt call these “tsars” and their new report shows how governments have been making it up as they go along. For Solesbury and Levitt...

Tags:
Posted in Better policy making | Comments Off

Guest blog: A homage to Caledonia

, 9 November 2012

In Spain unemployment has reached 5.8 million people and now stands at above 25%. The severe European economic crisis is hitting Spain hard and things are made worse by the legacy of bad economic management and planning. Spanish citizens, many of them holding university degrees, are emigrating. This is a tragedy for a country...

Tags:
Posted in Parliament and the political process | Comments Off