02 July 2012

As all UK ministers are now drawn from the Houses of Parliament, any proposals which will change the composition of one of these houses have the potential to fundamentally alter the pool and selection of ministers.

29 June 2012

It’s hard to judge a Civil Service Reform Plan. At the Institute for Government we drew on lessons from past reforms to create seven tests that indicate whether the plan is any good. Is it going to lead to a transformed Civil Service? Or will it simply be the latest round of ineffective tinkering with the problems that civil service leaders have been trying to fix since the late 1960’s?

27 June 2012

The British civil service is widely admired and rightly so for its core values of honesty, impartiality, and professionalism. However, in terms of accountability, management culture, and increased flexibility there is always much more to do.

26 June 2012

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) meltdown this weekend should raise three obvious lessons for government.

22 June 2012

Emerging from all the noise about the role of Special Advisers generated by the Leveson inquiry is a picture of Spads operating largely in isolation, and  with little preparation or support. The Ministerial Code and the Code of Conduct for Spads have not proved sufficient to resolve issues about SpAds’ roles and their performance.

22 June 2012

One of the commitments in the civil service reform plan is for more interchange with the private sector. But that promise has been made in the past and failed to make real change. Will it be different this time?

15 June 2012

Prospect, the union for professionals, managers and specialists, agrees with many of the points in the IfG’s ‘Seven crucial tests for the new reform plan’.

13 June 2012

Terry Moran, former head of Australia’s department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, was in discussion last night at the IfG with former cabinet secretary Lord (Gus) O’Donnell. There was lots of agreement but it offered some interesting points of comparison as well.

12 June 2012

Eric Pickles has announced that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is launching a ‘payment by results’ (PbR) scheme, which will reward councils  that help 'troubled families' to 'get children off the streets and back into school; reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour; and put adults on a path back to work.'

31 May 2012

Amidst a flurry of stories of rows, resignations and recriminations, the civil service reform plan is due to be published soon. Journalists and select committees have shown great interest in florid accounts of who shouted at whom and why senior officials resigned.