The government has recently faced a wave of negative media headlines over pasties, grannies, charities, and jerrycans. Each of these problems has led to the bigger question: how effective is the centre of government? Over the past two years the Institute for Government has examined the challenges facing the Centre. Here's a sample of some of our views on this issue:
Making and breaking Whitehall departments by Professor Patrick Dunleavy Anne White 12 May 2010
Making and Breaking Whitehall Departments is based on interviews with senior civil servants who have been involved in mergers and demergers of government departments over the past 30 years. The research was a joint project between the IfG and the London School of Economics.
Supporting the Prime Minister by David Atkinson, 1 July 2010
Comparing Number 10 to the support prime ministers receive in other countries shows that the debate about the Centre in the UK needs to turned on its head, focusing on effectiveness not size.
Was Gordon Brown’s ‘Economic War Council’ a new model for driving the PM’s agenda? by Jill Rutter, 2 June 2011
One of the constitutional innovations under Prime Minister Brown was a new sort of Cabinet Committee – the National Economic Council. The NEC was an ‘Economic War Council’ to drive the government response to the recession.
Ireland shapes up by Simon Parker, 1 March 2011
Just over a year ago, the Institute published 'Shaping Up': a vision for the future of Whitehall. The Irish have drawn on it for their new programme of government - which offers an experiment in radical reform born out its crisis.
Accident prevention in government by Jill Rutter, 14 February 2011
Recent accident-proneness in government has led the commentariat to come out with prescriptions to help the coalition perform better. But the issues they highlight point to more enduring problems in the way we run government and policy.
Strategy unit RIP by Jill Rutter, 26 November 2010
The news of the demise of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit does not come as a shock - but it does risk leaving a hole at the heart of government which may be felt in years to come.