Civil Service staff numbers Q2 2016: how big is Whitehall as it prepares for Brexit?

, 15 September 2016

The challenge Brexit poses for the Civil Service is huge – the scale has been likened by some to the Second World War. Today’s figures provide a snapshot of staff numbers in Whitehall at the end of June, just as the Civil Service was about to grapple with this challenge. Central Government Security staff...

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Lessons from Universal Credit to help current and future major projects

, 9 September 2016

Universal Credit has attracted a lot of controversy over the years, often with good reason. But it is worth restating that the core aim – of simplifying benefits – is worthwhile and has enjoyed cross-party support. The complexity of the benefits system has created real problems for the people using it. At its worst,...

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Universal Credit – a programme in recovery?

, 6 September 2016

Three years ago today the media was full of a report from the National Audit Office on Universal Credit. It was entitled “early progress”, but what it chiefly charted was a lack of progress. Universal Credit had hit such trouble that David Pitchford, then head of the Major Projects Authority, recommended that it needed...

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What are Theresa May’s policy priorities as Parliament returns?

, 5 September 2016

What progress has been made over the summer? Since the last instalment of our series on what is happening to the domestic agenda, and although Parliament has not been sitting, there has been some movement on key priorities: The renewal of Trident looks set to go ahead following a Commons vote in which a...

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Learning across boundaries: standing on the shoulders of giants

, 2 September 2016

The provision of public services at a local level is predicated on variation and contrast being both a requirement and advantageous. Different communities and environments need different solutions and this variation provides the opportunity to test and refine practice at a scale that both limits risk and can be done at pace. However, and...

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NHS England must get smarter about how it engages the public

, 1 September 2016

For ordinary citizens, last week’s media coverage was likely the first they heard about the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). According to the Guardian, the plans have been ‘shrouded in secrecy’ with the public largely unaware of how significant the changes are going to be. The STPs — of which there will be...

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