Will the freedom to hire staff on salaries greater than the Prime Minster’s allow Whitehall to close skills gaps in certain areas? The UK’s defence procurement agency is banking on it, and the rest of government will be watching with interest.
Over-promising on the campaign trail and under-delivering in office is a mistake that the next prime minister will want to avoid. Our new paper – All in it together – sets out how building on long term reform initiatives that are addressing weaknesses found across government departments can help.
Earlier this week, Sir Michael Barber – former head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit – spoke at the Institute for Government about his new book, How to Run A Government: So that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don't Go Crazy. The event, organised by the IfG and the new Centre for Public Impact (which Barber co-chairs), also featured Public Accounts Committee chair, Margaret Hodge, and IfG director Peter Riddell.
Prime ministers should have to show that changes to the civil service’s departmental structures serve the public interest rather than narrow party-political or personnel management goals, argues Tom Gash of the Institute for Government.
Ian Watmore set up the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills – and though he’s proud of what he achieved, he warns that such changes are much more expensive and complicated than people anticipate
This year’s Civil Service Fast Stream conference was organised around the theme of ‘Doing more what matters with less’, challenging fast streamers to answer how the Civil Service ‘can better prioritise and deliver what the UK needs most’ against a background of further spending reductions. Gavin Freeguard was one of the ‘dragons’ grilling some of their ideas.
The 2010 reforms creating the National Security Council and National Security Adviser improved co-ordination in national security decision making. But good decisions require high quality advice and analysis: government now needs to improve the national security expertise informing decision makers.