Firm direction: Kids Company and ministerial directions

, 5 August 2015

As Jill pointed out in her blogpost earlier today, the news that Kids Company may be about to close its services ‘provides rapid vindication’ of the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary’s decision to request a ministerial direction. Richard Heaton (soon to become Permanent Secretary at MoJ) requested one, on value for money grounds, on 26 June....

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Not child’s play: what does the Kid’s Company case tell us about government’s relations with the third sector?

, 5 August 2015

Successive governments have become reliant on external providers for services that were once the province of state provision. That has brought many benefits: innovation, better focus on users, more diversity of provision and more flexibility – as well as efficiencies and economies. But it also brings risks – in particular, that government becomes dependent...

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Writing wrongs? Ministerial correspondence under the Coalition

, 4 August 2015

Joe Randall looks at the latest data on ministerial correspondence and assesses how government departments and their arm's-length bodies are doing.

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Staff reductions on the horizon: charting civil service staff numbers

, 4 August 2015

Gavin Freeguard on the challenges of charting multiple government departments.

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Guest blog – Regulatory policy scrutiny: independent advice to government

, 3 August 2015

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) was formed in November 2009 and became an independent advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB) in 2012. It ensures that when ministers make decisions on regulatory proposals, they do so with the fullest picture possible and in surety that assessments of impacts have been independently validated. The RPC acts as...

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Academy chains in a tangle

, 30 July 2015

Last week, the Sutton Trust, a charity focused on improving social mobility through education, released a report on the performance of academy chains operating across England and Wales. Many academies are standalone schools but over a third of the UK’s 4,000-plus academies are now run by chains overseeing three or more academy schools. The...

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