Whitehall Monitor aims to chart government – literally. We analyse and visualise numbers from and about government – on everything from staff numbers to public perceptions – to help politicians, civil servants, civil society and the public better understand what central government looks like in the UK. This report looks at what happened under the Coalition Government from 2010 to 2015.
Whitehall – a single street in London SW1 as well as shorthand for the administrative centre of British government – can often seem remote from everyday life. But the decisions taken and actions implemented from there can have a profound effect. What happens in Whitehall matters – understanding what, and how, and why it happens, matters. Whitehall can also seem uniform – a set of grey buildings hosting government departments, which each have ministers and a permanent secretary at the top, civil servants below them, and some money from the Treasury to spend.
But as we see in this report, departments vary widely in their size, shape and function. In this annual report (our third) we take a retrospective look at government under the Coalition between 2010 and 2015: what does government look like in 2015, and how has it changed since 2010? Our report is split into four sections:
- Context: The political context – how the particular parties came to be running their departments – and how transparency and open data became part of the governing landscape.
- Inputs: The resources available to departments, such as money and staff.
- Outputs: What departments do with those resources and how they manage them; ‘business as usual’, such as responding to requests for information; and how digital technology has started to change the way some services are delivered.
- Outcomes: The impact of departments’ actions and how government measures this (or tries to), and public perceptions and international comparisons of government.
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