Let’s check the PM’s power to reshape Whitehall

, 10 March 2015

Prime ministers should have to show that changes to the civil service’s departmental structures serve the public interest rather than narrow party-political or personnel management goals, argues Tom Gash of the Institute for Government.

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Guest blog: A word on ‘machinery of government’ changes – from a man who knows

, 9 March 2015

Ian Watmore set up the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills – and though he’s proud of what he achieved, he warns that such changes are much more expensive and complicated than people anticipate

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Placing the career ladder on a stable platform

, 6 March 2015

Apprenticeships were front and centre of skills minister Nick Boles’ forward-looking speech on UK skills strategy. The focus, he said, will be on dramatically increasing the number and quality of apprenticeship programmes: he described the approach as “adding rungs to a ladder”, with the focus now on “adding some rungs to the top” by...

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A recipe for failure? Why government’s relationship with arm’s-length bodies matters

, 5 March 2015

According to the select committee, the Whitehall department responsible for ‘sponsoring’ the Gardens – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – frequently takes financial decisions that should instead be taken by Kew’s management. This prevents Kew from managing its affairs in a long-term strategic way and is, in the committee’s opinion, a...

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Meeting the mentors

, 4 March 2015

This week’s Women Leaders event explored the value of mentoring in addressing gender inequality – and concluded that all kinds of people could benefit. Nehal Panchamia listened in.

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One direction: first accounting officer ministerial direction published since 2010

, 27 February 2015

The Secretary of State for Transport has formally instructed his Permanent Secretary to act in a way that, under Treasury rules, offers poor value for money. Is it a crisis of civil service confidence in ministers? Or is it evidence of fractious relations at the top of Whitehall? The answer to both questions is...

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