On the day Nemat Shafik hands in her keys to the top office at the Department for International Development, it is interesting to reflect on the massive change at the top Whitehall has undergone since the election. What are striking are both the degree of change and the lack of prior departmental experience of those appointed.
Does anyone realistically think that those in the FCO and MOD who are working on North Africa are working that bit harder because they might get a bonus at the end of it? It just doesn’t work like that.
The new permanent secretary appointments mark two shifts – a significant increase in the number of women, now in control of bigger budgets, and a reinforcement of local government as an alternative route to the top.
A public sector in shock with new announcements every day – reform of this, a White Paper on that. Will those in charge of all this change have the necessary skills and experience to turn it into reality?
Margaret Thatcher resigned 20 years ago this week. The release of files from her first year in office gives insight into her and her Cabinet, and offers some lessons for the current government's reform agenda.