In little over a month, residents of ten of England’s largest cities will decide on whether to be governed by directly-elected mayors or to stick with the current system, with council leaders elected by their fellow councillors.
The IfG’s ‘open letter’ pipped Prospect’s new report ‘Government that can needs people who know how’ to publication, but there is a large measure of agreement between us – including on the need for genuine reform of the civil service and an honest and informed debate about how to achieve this.
As the health reform bill faces its final hurdle, the debate now focuses on the (non) disclosure of the risk register. We may or may not get to see the risk register on the NHS reforms. It may not be worth the wait.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.