What’s needed to make public services more responsive to local, citizen needs?

, 21 July 2015

Everyone knows that public services are going to be hit hard over the next few years, with further budget cuts, an ageing population and rising demand. Changing demographics alone equates to around £400 million of extra spending needed per year. But we also know that these challenges will be more easily met by joining...

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Major Projects Authority Annual Report, 2015: the departmental picture

, 20 July 2015

The Department of Health now has the most projects, closely followed by the Ministry of Defence. Major projects are not spread equally across Whitehall departments. Between them, DH and the MoD are responsible for 40% of the entire MPA portfolio. DH’s portfolio has been swelled by 14 new projects to 41 this year, overtaking...

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Changing course – housing policy and planning reforms

, 17 July 2015

Last week, the Government announced important reforms to the housing planning system as part of its drive to improve UK productivity. The reforms include a significant departure from previous doctrines of localism and ‘development control’. The experience of other countries suggests these changes will be important steps towards improving the supply of housing in...

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Major Projects Authority Annual Report, 2015: the picture across government

, 17 July 2015

Thanks to the transparency of the Major Projects Authority, we know more about government’s major projects than ever before. But what does the MPA’s third annual report, published in late June, tell us? Emily Andrews and Gavin Freeguard have the answers. We are very grateful to the data team at the MPA for...

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Austerity, reform and leadership: the view from the Foreign Office

, 16 July 2015

As he retires after six years as a Permanent Secretary, first at BIS and since August 2010 at the FCO, Sir Simon Fraser reflects on the FCO’s response to austerity and the need for reform, its relationship with wider Whitehall, and his efforts to develop a more diverse workforce and inclusive Departmental culture. The...

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Members’ exits – and entrances: select committee membership, 2010-15

, 15 July 2015

In this blog we look at the 20 select committees whose job is to scrutinise specific government departments. We have excluded ‘cross-cutting’ and internal committees committees from our analysis because many of these – including the Environmental Audit Committee and all those with non-elected chairs and members – have yet to be established. Over...

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