Armitt’s National Infrastructure Commission – moving towards a more sensible debate

, 9 July 2014

Ed Miliband announced last week that Labour intends to establish an independent National Infrastructure Commission if it returns to power.

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Guest blog: What’s wrong with the Treasury? A reply to Emran Mian

, 9 July 2014

The Treasury is portrayed as the villain behind all the constraints on departments. I also agree with Emran about how important it remains to protect the Treasury’s position against overwhelming odds (there are more spending department votes across the Cabinet table than Treasury ones), and the importance of continuity. However, that doesn’t mean there...

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The roles of ministers and permanent secretaries should be complementary not conflicting

, 8 July 2014

Secretaries of state and permanent secretaries have different roles, which should be complementary, and not in conflict. That is why the latest row over a leaked five year old paper on ‘Permanent Secretary’ roles is so artificial, exaggerated and a distraction from the real issues of civil service reform.

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Guest blog: A response to Martin Donnelly’s speech on the Civil Service

, 8 July 2014

It was not intended as a criticism but as a warning. I agreed most strongly with the arguments set out in Martin’s speech which were almost identical with my own views about the role of what he called central policy civil service. If it is a priestly cult it is one of which I...

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Opening the door to data transparency

, 27 June 2014

A new report examines the £8.9bn spent by central and local government on 20 top suppliers. It sheds much light on the relationships – but greater transparency is needed to ensure the information is accurate and the money is used effectively

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Guest blog: What has the Treasury ever done for us?

, 25 June 2014

Lots of people have been having a go at the Treasury recently in the long run-up to the election. The critique focuses on the role of the Treasury in its guise as the Ministry of Finance. Broadly speaking, it says that the Treasury is too powerful and exercises its power in a non-cooperative way....

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