2016: high stakes for the Government and the UK

, 2 January 2016

It is almost impossible to talk about any subject – the implementation of the public spending review, decisions on big infrastructure projects such as expansion of London’s airport capacity, the review of human rights legislation and the future of the union itself – without taking account of the promised referendum on the UK’s membership...

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Ministers reflect: on the Treasury

, 30 December 2015

Inside the Treasury The minister with Treasury experience we interviewed, Mark Hoban, was impressed with the way the Treasury prepared for new ministers and thought his background helped him make that transition: “I was financially literate, which was important, I had run projects, some of those skills about managing people and managing teams I’d...

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The Spending Review: what really happened

, 29 December 2015

1. On the big picture, the Chancellor pulled back from the scale of cuts outlined in the July budget The headlines immediately following the speech announced the end of austerity. This is not all that surprising, given the immediate press reaction is heavily dependent on the Treasury’s presentation, and the Chancellor was unrelentingly upbeat...

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How Whitehall responds to Freedom of Information requests

, 21 December 2015

Between July and September (Q3) 2015, monitored government bodies received 11,990 freedom of information requests. In the third quarter of 2015, government departments (as defined by Cabinet Office, who publish the numbers) received 8,687 FoI requests, with other government organisations receiving 3,303 – a total of 11,990. This was more than the quantity received...

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Ministers reflect: on special advisers

, 18 December 2015

The overall number of special advisers (spads) in government is 92, down from 107 just before the May election. Of the 92, 40 are based at the centre of government – No 10, HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office. The post-election drop is largely thanks to the absence of a coalition partner; partway through...

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How can local public services get better at learning from each other?

, 18 December 2015

In our report Joining Up Public Services Around Local, Citizen Needs we highlighted several examples of how to join up local services. As our new interactive timeline shows, since 1997 there have been many initiatives aimed at improving ‘joining up’. To achieve system-wide change, we need better ways of spreading these models and practices. If...

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