Future directions for the Accounting Officer system

, 3 September 2013

Earlier this year the Major Projects Authority gave 31 out of 191 government projects an Amber/Red or Red rating, signalling that there are problems with implementation. Yet all of these projects have had the implicit endorsement of the permanent secretary of the department responsible as being both good value for money and feasible –...

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The making of Whitehall Monitor

, 29 August 2013

What is Whitehall Monitor? A year ago we embarked on a project to explore and analyse the data on government to get insights into the effectiveness of Whitehall. We’d previously put out short ad hoc Whitehall Monitor bulletins, but we wanted to expand this into a more comprehensive review of the information about Whitehall’s...

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The calculus of consent: what drives local opposition to fracking?

, 15 August 2013

The village of Balcombe (West Sussex) has recently become a national focal point for the campaign against fracking. When a private company attempted to start exploration in a site just outside the village, residents and environmental campaigners from further afield descended on the site to block the enterprise. The company insisted it was using...

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The Mark and George Show

, 7 August 2013

Very few people now write formal letters to each other. But today’s delicately choreographed exchanges (“Dear Chancellor, Dear Mark”) signal the next stage in opening out monetary policy. For those interested in alternative ways of making policy, the changes in UK monetary policy illustrate how far it is possible to move issues from high politics...

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The other battle for Europe

, 5 August 2013

Sir Jon Cunliffe’s appointment in late 2011 to run UKREP marked a break in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) lock on the position of the top man (and yes, they have all been men so far) negotiating for the UK in the European Union (EU). Sir Jon had been European and Global Issues (EGIS) adviser...

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Long live the pen! A look behind today’s National Archives release

, 1 August 2013

The highlights in the newspapers bring to life the inner workings of government from 30 years ago. The content is fascinating. We discover details about nuclear release procedures in light of the increased presence of US nuclear weapons on UK soil, and the degree to which, to her fury, Mrs Thatcher was kept out...

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