Making interchange work for the Civil Service

, 12 March 2013

Interchange sounds great in theory. But our politics, and media, doesn’t like the ‘revolving door’. And the civil service has a cultural problem with it too; it feels that civil servants who leave have betrayed the public ethos, and outsiders who have come remain that, outsiders. I am parti pris on this having left...

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Spending Review 2013: taking on the union

, 6 March 2013

After a decade of steadily rising budgets, the 2010 Spending Review set out spending cuts on a scale greater than anything since demobilisation. Still relatively fresh in post, ministers were generally ready and willing to cut public spending dramatically in their departments as a contribution to cutting the deficit. Some went further, wanting to...

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Disappointment by results

, 5 March 2013

But wait! Is this the same ‘payment by results’ that was mentioned 34 times in the Cabinet Office’s Open Public Services 2012 paper published less than a year ago? The same PbR that was floated as a way of addressing some of the most pressing policy challenges from troubled families to homelessness? Yes and...

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What Danny Alexander should have said at the “What Works” launch

, 5 March 2013

This is what the chief secretary to the Treasury should have said in his opening remarks: “We face a prolonged period of fiscal austerity. The Treasury will no longer be prepared to finance policies which are not demonstrably working – nor can we underwrite speculative policies which are not supported by a reasonable evidence...

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Why has trust in civil servants gone up?

, 4 March 2013

And this interest is despite the rank order generally not changing much. We can guarantee that doctors will be at the top: we have measured trust in doctors in the middle of any number of high profile medical scandals, and there is no impact. We can also guarantee that journalists and politicians will be...

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Clarity about the Civil Service: learning from New Zealand

, 1 March 2013

The New Zealand minister for the Civil Service, Dr Jonathan Coleman, was in the UK this week and spoke at New Zealand House about their government reform programme. This focuses on ten measurable results which address complex issues cutting across department boundaries, such as reducing the rate of assaults on children and cutting long-term...

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