Clueless on contracting

, 11 December 2014

In our report Making Public Service Markets Work we argued that there should be: more attention on ongoing oversight of contracts rather than just signing deals greater transparency of and clearer accountability for success and failures and more attention to stimulating competition for contracts, so that government isn’t left with a poor selection of...

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Civil Service Engagement Index 2014: Most Departments Improve

, 9 December 2014

DfID and the Treasury have the highest engagement score – 71% – while HMRC has the lowest – 43%. The Department for International Development (DfID) has the highest engagement score for a sixth consecutive year, while HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has the lowest score for a sixth consecutive year. The Foreign Office, on...

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Guest blog – It Takes Three: How New Zealand thinks about arm’s-length bodies

, 9 December 2014

New Zealand, like the UK and other western liberal democracies, has yet to be satisfied with the overall performance of its arm’s-length body (ALB) arrangements. New Zealand’s ALB or Crown entity system was reformed in the early 2000s. The Crown Entities Act 2004 set out to establish an integrated governance and accountability regime that...

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What Works Centres: Can they deliver?

, 5 December 2014

It’s just over 18 months since the Cabinet Office announced the creation of a network of What Works Centres. Five are now up and running. Together, these centres have made considerable progress in pulling together available evidence on effective interventions and sharing it with frontline practitioners. Some have also helped fill gaps in our...

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Autumn statement: Whitehall must set itself up for efficiency challenge

, 3 December 2014

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has announced that he intends to make £10bn in efficiency savings by 2017-18. This is a stretching target which the government will only be able to meet if it focuses on transformative change and equips itself with the right tools and structures for the job.

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Guest blog: The What Works Network – a Lunar Society for the 21st century

, 3 December 2014

Two and a half centuries ago, the Lunar Society – it met during the full moon when Birmingham streets were safer – was at its most imaginative and experimental. Among its prominent members Matthew Boulton was revolutionising manufacturing, Erasmus Darwin was transforming education, Josiah Wedgewood was innovating in pottery and James Watt was exploiting...

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