Adverse opinion: the DfE’s struggle with academies

, 23 January 2015

The C&AG’s opinion resulted from the department’s faltering effort to get to grips with the rapidly growing academies sector, for which the department is responsible. At this stage, it will be helpful to go through a bit of context and explanation of how this came about and what it means. The C&AG’s warnings do...

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Who’s accountable for weak accountability?

, 23 January 2015

Even the Treasury now proclaims its enthusiasm for devolution. But weaknesses in transparency and accountability are undermining many localist policies, as a recent Institute for Government event revealed.

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What does good scrutiny look like?

, 22 January 2015

Today's debate on the report of the House of Commons Governance Committee – which has considered how the House should be run in the wake of the controversy over the appointment of the next Clerk of the House – offers a brief and welcome respite from the early skirmishes in the election campaign.

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The delay with the Chilcot report is misunderstood

, 21 January 2015

Much of the political and media outrage over the further delay in publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war is exaggerated and misunderstands what such an inquiry involves. Of course, it would have been much better if the report had been published earlier, and the delay has damaged public confidence. But there...

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Under FOIA: departments’ responses to freedom of information requests

, 21 January 2015

Between July and September (Q3) 2014, monitored government bodies received 11,234 freedom of information requests – only two quarters this parliament had fewer requests. Altogether, over 100,000 bodies are subject to the FoI Act, but the MoJ only publishes statistics for 41 of them – government departments and some other bodies such as the...

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Keep calm and clarify

, 20 January 2015

The prospect of another hung parliament after the May 7 elections is being treated with a mixture of alarm and excitement by the business, political and media worlds. There are certainly risks in an inconclusive result, but the British political system is remarkably resilient. Government will carry on: services will be provided and...

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