The cabinet secretary should not be dragged into investigations

, 21 January 2013

This is a murky, and still unresolved, affair in which Sir Jeremy played a peripheral role. He was asked by David Cameron to examine whether two e-mails sent by a constituent of John Randall, the Deputy Chief Whip, changed the Prime Minister’s original assessment of the Chief Whip’s conduct. Sir Jeremy concluded that the...

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Performance matters

This week saw the coalition’s mid-year review and the release of its audit on progress. Much of the subsequent analysis has inevitably focused on what has not been achieved in the past two and a half years. But how much does delivery matter in terms of public opinion and the result of the next...

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Could do better – our verdict on the programme for government ‘audit’

There should have been a further column saying whether a commitment has been fully met, partially met, in progress, not met or dumped, with an appropriate explanation. We know that inside Whitehall, progress is being tracked in these terms. At the launch of our Open Letter last March, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary,...

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Bridesmaids revisited

, 9 January 2013

In the last year, since Jeremy Heywood and Bob Kerslake took over as the duumvirate at the top of the Civil Service, seven people have been promoted to head government departments. Not a single one has been a woman. In that time, some of the most high profile women in Whitehall have decided they...

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How the Mid-Term Review could have been improved

First, there is little sense of what the top priorities are for the government as a whole, apart from deficit reduction and boosting growth. Like a Queen’s Speech and all too many cross-Whitehall statements, the statement reads like an accumulation of the departmental submissions, many written in ghastly jargon such as ‘we will transition...

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Performance related pay: what Whitehall should learn from UK Sport

, 19 December 2012

And others suffered cuts – notably swimming, which underperformed in the fantastic Aquatic centre with two bronzes and a silver; archery, volleyball and badminton which were all medal-free zones. The clear message is that sports federations who deliver results get funded – and those that don’t, get cut. The day before UK Sport’s funding...

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