Posts tagged with ‘ Policy ’

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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Posted in New models of governance and public services | No Comments »

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 »

Opening up policy making: The wisdom of four

, 14 June 2011

Current planning policy runs to thousands of pages. The normal process is to do it in-house – ministers and civil servants redraft; then consult; amend (a bit) and promulgate. New drafts are largely the responsibility of the people who wrote the old versions – with the in-built conservatism that implies. And what looks good to...

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Taking the myki: Melbourne’s transport policy failures show importance of good policy design

, 23 May 2011

The Institute recently played host to Professor John Alford of the Australia New Zealand School of Government, which trains top level Federal and state civil servants. He gave staff a demonstration case study – on the failure of the Melbourne equivalent of Boris bikes.

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Posted in Better policy making | 4 Comments »

Preserving Britain’s influence will require more than a redeployment of its diplomats

, 13 May 2011

On Wednesday, the Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a statement to the House of Commons on the future of Britain’s diplomatic network.

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Defra’s Animal Health & Welfare Board: Letting the outside in

, 27 April 2011

Defra has had a rocky year in meeting “responsive external engagement”, one of seven fundamentals of good policy making recommended in our recent report, Making Policy Better.

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