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.

Permalink | No Comments »

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...

Permalink | No Comments »

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

Permalink | No Comments »

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....

Permalink | No Comments »

Building a ‘northern powerhouse’: it may(or may not) work

, 24 June 2014

George Osborne has set out his vision for the future of Britain’s northern cities, proposing new mayors with Boris Johnson-style powers. This is a positive development, but has he considered barriers to decentralisation that we’ve recently identified?

Permalink | No Comments »

Civil Service capabilities plan: one year matured

, 23 June 2014

The Cabinet Office recently published the first ‘annual refresh’ of its Capabilities Plan. While the update gives a clearer sense of direction, it also begins to raise longer term questions about driving up capability in the Civil Service.

Permalink | Comments (1) »