5 days – or longer – in May 2015

, 30 May 2013

No one has the faintest idea what the election result will be in 2015 but we could easily have another hung parliament – and the experience of 2010 will influence the expectations and behaviour of politicians, the media and the markets. Andrew Adonis, a Labour negotiator in 2010, has always maintained that a Lab/Lib...

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Churchill, alcohol and government records: why our national archives matter

, 23 May 2013

The National Archives have today shed more light on the UK’s sometimes murky intelligence history with the release of further files from the FCO’s Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department (PUSD) and from the files of the Cabinet Secretary. The latest releases include juicy stories on the bugging of Edward VIII, an excellent account of a drunken...

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Payment by results: ‘soft outcomes’ and the needs of funders

, 23 May 2013

One of the themes that emerged during our first workshop at the IfG was the tension between ‘soft outcomes’ and the needs of funders. While colleagues from the Civil Service can appreciate the needs of service users are hard to measure, they do need the reassurance that they are spending public money appropriately. This...

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Open plan Civil Service?

, 22 May 2013

Property moves seeing smaller departments leave their current homes and squeeze into the buildings of bigger departments have already been widely publicised, including DCMS having moved in with HM Revenue and Customs and DCLG preparing to join the Home Office. What is largely unreported however is the effect of such moves on the morale...

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Am I a little bit pregnant? Why language matters in policy making

, 16 May 2013

However, before that work gets underway, I wanted to focus on one of the themes from the first meeting of Connecting Policy and Practice programme – that of policy becoming increasingly underpinned by economic and business models. Language matters My course-mate, Pat Russell correctly reminded me that there are ten* types of people •...

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Championing an innovative public sector

, 15 May 2013

Across the world, systems of government are increasingly under strain, caught in a rut towards obsolescence – that’s my claim, at least. Whenever I declare my position many are surprised. ‘But you are from Finland! Surely you are not talking about Finland too?’ Well, yes I am. Within the European context, Finland has the...

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