19 March 2012

The Margaret Hodge question is not going away. It is time to separate the criticism at the top of Whitehall of her chairing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) from the issues she has raised about civil service accountability.

16 March 2012

As Bob Kerslake is in the early stages of formulating his views on what civil service transformation looks like, I want to offer a view of what it should not look like.

15 March 2012

The Civil Service is continuing to shrink – but at very different rates. And there may be early indications of a change of direction which would put at risk the savings.

12 March 2012

Coalition government has changed many of the internal workings of the Whitehall machine. Making clear that the world does not fall apart when leading political figures debate tax choices would be a valuable legacy.

07 March 2012

The Cabinet Secretary’s suggestion that civil service policy could be outsourced was met with predictable cries of outrage. There are lots of potential problems, not least the danger of losing core civil service expertise and issues around conflicts of interest. But it would be a mistake to dismiss the idea before we consider the potential advantages.

06 March 2012

If you thought the last 18 months was tough think again; we have only just started. That was the sobering message from the civil service reform trinity of Francis Maude, Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir Bob Kerslake.

05 March 2012

This weekend the media went into overdrive reporting that the privatisation of policing was imminent after the invitation by the West Midlands and Surrey Police forces to contractors like G4S and Serco to deliver a wide range of services.

02 March 2012

There is a sudden outpouring of interest in bodies that can show what works in social policy. We have recently seen proposals for new NICEs (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) – scourge of the drugs company, bête noire of cancer campaign groups but one of the UK’s more successful health exports.

21 February 2012

The fuss around Professor Les Ebdon's nomination to be Director of the Office for Fair Access (Offa) has stoked up the debate over the role and power of select committees over public appointments and the partisan deals made over public policy.

20 February 2012

It is summit week in Whitehall. Today there are two - the Cameron-Lansley show on the NHS and Caroline Spelman's heavily trailed drought summit. Tomorrow No.10 is back doing Future of Cities and safe cycling, last week insurance. But what exactly are these summits supposed to achieve?