Posts tagged with ‘ civil service reform ’

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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Civil service legislation: international comparisons and the case for more clarity

, 20 September 2013

Legislation can embed change and establish norms of expected behaviour. Northcote and Trevelyan argued in their seminal report on the Civil Service in 1854 that overcoming the ‘powerful interests’ of the status quo needed ‘the force of law’. Their recommendation was ignored until 2010, but elsewhere – such as in New Zealand – legislation...

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The decline in public trust in government

, 26 July 2013

For example the recent one year on report on the civil service reform plan proposes to: give ministers the power to extend their ministerial office by making personal appointments of additional special advisers and other external appointees having already increased ministerial involvement in the permanent secretary appointment,  move to a fixed tenure appointment for...

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Lifting the veil

, 22 July 2013

The pilot edition of the Civil Service Quarterly appeared last week on gov.uk. It is a compilation of blogs on issues covering range of government activity – from disaster management, to the new policy tests in the Department for Education, an interview by former FT editor and CBI head Sir Richard Lambert with Treasury...

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Whitehall – a breakdown of confidence or a breakdown of competence?

, 16 July 2013

The rumblings The press is full of questions about the accountability and competence of the senior civil service. Francis Maude, amongst others, has spoken critically of the Civil Service and recognised that the 2012 white paper has not led to transformative change. Of course, the professional defenders of the Civil Service point to its...

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