Government acts on contract transparency

, 7 June 2016

The updated Model Services Contract, published at the end of May, contains a new transparency clause, to enable the publishing of public service contracts and of contract performance data. This matters because we have continued to see a number of high-profile problems that have brought into question the Government’s ability to manage public service...

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Sustainability and Transformation Plans: another NHS reorganisation?

, 3 June 2016

Earlier this year, new structures were announced to oversee health care in 44 areas of England. On 19 May, the NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, said that these structures needed a firmer footing, implying that legislation would be needed. The new structures could create a more coherent approach to health in local areas, with...

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Northern Ireland’s first official Opposition – a step towards ‘normal politics’?

, 31 May 2016

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s official Opposition, formed by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), will be the first of its kind since the Assembly was established in 1998 (see chart). Thanks to recent legislative changes, parties with nine or more elected members can now form an official...

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The role of graduate programmes in transforming public services

, 31 May 2016

What can fast-trackers bring to the table? Public service challenges are often long-standing. For Police Now Chief Executive David Spencer, this proves existing solutions aren’t working and something needs to change. From panellists’ perspective, a crucial aspect of that change is greater front-line leadership. Their experience suggests public services don’t suffer from a lack...

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The EU referendum – the role of Ministers and the Civil Service during the campaign

, 27 May 2016

Alongside the rules for the official campaign groups on how they can act, what money they can spend and what publicity they are able to put out, the next 28 days also sees a change in the role of the Civil Service in supporting the Government over the question of the UK’s membership of...

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Joint scrutiny: BHS inquiry shows us how select committees can work together

, 24 May 2016

The collapse of BHS into administration put 11,000 high street jobs at risk and revealed a pensions black hole of nearly £600 million. The sheer scale of the business failure meant it was inevitable that Parliament would wish to ask questions, and it was clear that it raised issues within the remit of more...

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