Changing course – housing policy and planning reforms

, 17 July 2015

Last week, the Government announced important reforms to the housing planning system as part of its drive to improve UK productivity. The reforms include a significant departure from previous doctrines of localism and ‘development control’. The experience of other countries suggests these changes will be important steps towards improving the supply of housing in...

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Major Projects Authority Annual Report, 2015: the picture across government

, 17 July 2015

Thanks to the transparency of the Major Projects Authority, we know more about government’s major projects than ever before. But what does the MPA’s third annual report, published in late June, tell us? Emily Andrews and Gavin Freeguard have the answers. We are very grateful to the data team at the MPA for...

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Austerity, reform and leadership: the view from the Foreign Office

, 16 July 2015

As he retires after six years as a Permanent Secretary, first at BIS and since August 2010 at the FCO, Sir Simon Fraser reflects on the FCO’s response to austerity and the need for reform, its relationship with wider Whitehall, and his efforts to develop a more diverse workforce and inclusive Departmental culture. The...

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Members’ exits – and entrances: select committee membership, 2010-15

, 15 July 2015

In this blog we look at the 20 select committees whose job is to scrutinise specific government departments. We have excluded ‘cross-cutting’ and internal committees committees from our analysis because many of these – including the Environmental Audit Committee and all those with non-elected chairs and members – have yet to be established. Over...

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Diversité a la canadienne

, 15 July 2015

Janice Charette is Canada’s Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, the most senior Canadian public official and already the second woman to hold that role. In conversation with Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government and Diversity Champion, Charette talked about the role of women...

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In need of repair – CMA’s damning assessment of the energy market

, 9 July 2015

Energy prices have been a subject of controversy for quite some time, entangled in wider concerns about living costs, and featuring prominently in the political debate in the run up to the May general election. The combination of rising gas and electricity prices, deterioration in the standards of service, and news of soaring profits...

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