Posts tagged with ‘ Policy ’

Delivery – what the UK can learn from Maryland and elsewhere

, 22 September 2014

Look at any list of Democrat presidential contenders for 2016 and you’re likely to find Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley. And if he does decide to run he’ll certainly point to his track record of delivery in office – helped by combining a delivery unit with data science and transparency. O'Malley is one of a...

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Posted in A more effective Whitehall | 1 Comment »

Family friendly government?

, 18 August 2014

The middle of August may not sound like the best time to announce a new policy initiative – to subject all government policy to a family impact test. But that is what David Cameron has just done. In a speech to the Royal College of General Practitioners he said: “I want every government department...

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Posted in Better policy making | 1 Comment »

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

, 28 July 2014

There is a view that the Coalition is going further than its predecessors in wising to break the Northcote-Trevelyan settlement. It is noteworthy that a senior mandarin has put the case for civil service neutrality. Donnelly says much that makes sense but perhaps pulls his punches. He could reasonably ask whether in our parliamentary...

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One Service, Two Guv’nors: How Whitehall serves the Coalition in the final year

, 6 May 2014

Today the UK’s first postwar coalition government enters its fifth year in office with every expectation of reaching the end of the fixed parliamentary term. This is an achievement in itself – there were many who doubted the Coalition’s viability and longevity at its inception. But how will the Coalition work in its final...

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Does the ‘troubled families’ agenda demonstrate joined-up government?

, 17 April 2014

What does joined-up government actually mean? A common theme of our work at the Institute is that government doesn’t always ‘join-up’ as well as it might. Think of how it typically goes about setting budgets and saving money – it’s usually done on a department by department basis, with ministers making trade-offs and deals...

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Civil servant asked to do job – shock

, 16 September 2013

We have grown used to the idea that policy reviews should be done by anyone other than the Civil Service. The FT suggested that a review of policy should have been undertaken by a minister – but then points out that, in a coalition, the question of which minister is fraught.  Would this be...

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Posted in Better policy making | 3 Comments »

Feed-in frenzy

, 4 November 2011

In 2009 the last government introduced “feed-in tariffs” – based on a German model – to boost domestic uptake of solar PV. They were quite controversial from the start – with passionate support from the green lobby but some dissenters – even Guardian columnist George Monbiot who pointed out last year that the very...

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Pass the parcel (or The buck stops where?)

, 27 September 2011

Government accountability for policy mistakes rests on a series of ambiguities which can too easily turn into ‘who, not me’ evasions. Among many other lessons, the Public Accounts Committee’s damning report on the £469 million (minimum) waste on the now abandoned FiReControl project exposes one of the inherent flaws in the auditing of large-scale...

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Masters of the universe

, 6 September 2011

Most politicians’ books on policy tend to be predictable – particularly when written by ambitious young MPs with an eye on office like Tories’ Matthew Hancock and Nadhim Zahawi. Yet their account of the financial crisis, ‘Masters of Nothing: How the Crash Will Happen Again Unless We Understand Human Nature’, has many unexpected insights...

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The importance of being insubordinate

, 23 June 2011

Typical hierarchical organisations screen out dissident voices and value loyalty. Suppressing concerns is the route to the top – and those at the top like hearing their own opinions reinforced. First Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam, then Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq, took decisions in vacuums of agreement of their own making – with disastrous consequences.

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Posted in Better policy making | 3 Comments »