Laying down the law

, 12 December 2012

At the heart of this fiasco is the story of a department attempting an innovative approach to commissioning but never getting to grips with it. The Treasury signed off the process on the basis that this was “a pilot to inform future decisions, but would not represent a final model for future franchises”. Even...

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Much ado about nothing? The row over ministerial involvement in permanent secretary appointments

, 11 December 2012

Last week’s decision by the prime minister to block the appointment of David Kennedy as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Energy and Climate Change has rekindled the debate on the role of ministers in civil service appointments. The debate was initially sparked by the Civil Service Reform Plan, published in June 2012, which...

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What a preDECCament

, 30 November 2012

“Ministerial involvement is actively encouraged for permanent secretary and other key competitions – it is a critical part of getting the right person for the job”. So wrote Civil Service Commissioner Sir David Normington to The Times, the day after the Civil Service Reform Plan was published. “They can even veto the panel’s...

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So you’re re-engaged?

, 28 November 2012

The 2012 Civil Service People Survey results, published today, provide the most comprehensive and up to date picture of how ‘engaged’ civil servants currently feel at work. The survey had 297,000 responses across 97 departments and agencies. It asks over 50 questions building up a detailed picture of what civil servants think about issues...

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Non-payment for non-results

, 27 November 2012

The Work Programme, introduced by the Coalition in the summer of 2011, was meant to be the route to efficient and effective employment services. Under the scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pays providers of employment services to help the long-term unemployed back to work. Private and voluntary sector companies are paid...

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Permanent secretaries?

, 20 November 2012

As the graph shows, turnover among ‘permanent’ secretaries has been substantial since the Government was elected in May 2010. Just two departments have kept the same permanent secretary throughout: HMT and DCMS. MoD, Cabinet Office and DfT have each had four permanent secretaries (including acting heads of department). The department average is two permanent...

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