Archive for January, 2013

The Civil Service plays its part in delivering success for the UK

, 29 January 2013

But, as we know, it was a huge success. Of course, that is first of all down to the athletes and then to the volunteers, who made it such a welcoming and exhilarating event to be part of. But just as critical to success was an unseen army – many of them civil or...

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Whitehall’s permanent revolution

, 29 January 2013

It’s no secret that relations at the top of Whitehall have been strained in recent months, with frustrations played out across the press. Trust seems more fragile than ever. Against this backdrop, the issue of how much ministers should be involved in civil service appointments is, unfortunately, becoming seen as a front in a...

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Making the Games – how future major government projects can learn from success

, 22 January 2013

Making the Games tells the story of London 2012 – from the early days of the bid when London trailed behind frontrunner Paris, to the evening before the opening ceremony. The research is based on interviews with over 60 London 2012 leaders including Lord Coe, Dame Tessa Jowell, Lord Deighton and Sir John Armitt....

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The cabinet secretary should not be dragged into investigations

, 21 January 2013

This is a murky, and still unresolved, affair in which Sir Jeremy played a peripheral role. He was asked by David Cameron to examine whether two e-mails sent by a constituent of John Randall, the Deputy Chief Whip, changed the Prime Minister’s original assessment of the Chief Whip’s conduct. Sir Jeremy concluded that the...

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Performance matters

This week saw the coalition’s mid-year review and the release of its audit on progress. Much of the subsequent analysis has inevitably focused on what has not been achieved in the past two and a half years. But how much does delivery matter in terms of public opinion and the result of the next...

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Could do better – our verdict on the programme for government ‘audit’

There should have been a further column saying whether a commitment has been fully met, partially met, in progress, not met or dumped, with an appropriate explanation. We know that inside Whitehall, progress is being tracked in these terms. At the launch of our Open Letter last March, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary,...

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Bridesmaids revisited

, 9 January 2013

In the last year, since Jeremy Heywood and Bob Kerslake took over as the duumvirate at the top of the Civil Service, seven people have been promoted to head government departments. Not a single one has been a woman. In that time, some of the most high profile women in Whitehall have decided they...

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How the Mid-Term Review could have been improved

First, there is little sense of what the top priorities are for the government as a whole, apart from deficit reduction and boosting growth. Like a Queen’s Speech and all too many cross-Whitehall statements, the statement reads like an accumulation of the departmental submissions, many written in ghastly jargon such as ‘we will transition...

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