Posts tagged with ‘ civil service reform ’

Guest blog: A response to Martin Donnelly’s speech on the Civil Service

, 10 July 2014

Martin Donnelly is to be commended for arguing for the policy role of a permanent civil service in such cogent and skilful terms in his IFG speech. The more recent, unrelated row over a job description for permanent secretaries, with its perhaps clumsy attempt to describe a stewardship role, shows this can be dangerous...

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The roles of ministers and permanent secretaries should be complementary not conflicting

, 8 July 2014

Secretaries of state and permanent secretaries have different roles, which should be complementary, and not in conflict. That is why the latest row over a leaked five year old paper on ‘Permanent Secretary’ roles is so artificial, exaggerated and a distraction from the real issues of civil service reform.

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Guest blog: A response to Martin Donnelly’s speech on the Civil Service

, 8 July 2014

It was not intended as a criticism but as a warning. I agreed most strongly with the arguments set out in Martin’s speech which were almost identical with my own views about the role of what he called central policy civil service. If it is a priestly cult it is one of which I...

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Civil Service capabilities plan: one year matured

, 23 June 2014

The Cabinet Office recently published the first ‘annual refresh’ of its Capabilities Plan. While the update gives a clearer sense of direction, it also begins to raise longer term questions about driving up capability in the Civil Service.

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It’s personal: why reform in the Civil Service succeeds or fails

, 25 March 2014

“We wanted the best, but everything turned out as usual.” The much quoted words of Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former prime minister of Russia, are apt when discussing UK civil service reform. Every few years, it seems, a new civil service reform plan is launched. The reforms often focus on well-trodden territory. Whether it’s improving...

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The challenges of departmental reform

, 25 March 2014

As our new report Transforming Whitehall One Year On: The challenges of departmental reform in Whitehall shows, there is no “one size fits all” route to answering them. Faced with finding savings of between 33% and 50% from their administration budgets, some departments have undertaken extensive restructuring, moved toward new operating models and investigated...

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Emergent Ministerial Offices

, 3 March 2014

A new role at the Department of Work and Pensions is currently being advertised on the Civil Service recruitment website – for a deputy director in the “Ministerial Policy and Delivery Unit”. The specification reads: “This new role is going to be at the heart of agenda. The successful candidate will support the...

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Civil service reform v4.0: A word from the wise?

, 24 February 2014

Recently, the Institute for Government and PWC brought together an eclectic mix of current and past officials, ministers and non-executive directors to discuss how best to lead transformation from the centre of government. The participants provided four pieces of advice for Oliver Robbins to ponder in his new job. 1. Create a more compelling...

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Guest blog: Civil service reform – my view

, 21 January 2014

I have the highest regard for the Civil Service, but that does not mean there is no room for improvement – this is one reform that I think would help to modernise it. I had a good experience of working with civil servants at Defra even if I had a difficult time dealing with...

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A civil service inquiry could do some good – if it addresses long-term reform

, 20 January 2014

The main focus at present is on a Parliamentary Commission akin to the Banking Commission of both Houses which reported last year. That has been proposed by the Public Administration Committee, endorsed by the Commons Liaison Committee of chairs of select committees, and has now been backed by the majority of speakers in a...

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