The full Laidlaw report details exactly what went so spectacularly wrong with the West Coast Mainline franchise process and why. The assessment is damning and highlights some fundamental flaws both in the franchise process and in the Department for Transport.
Does the prime minister’s public confirmation that he vetoed the appointment of Climate Change Committee chief executive David Kennedy to be permanent secretary at DECC signal a change in ministerial activism on civil service appointments?
The latest Civil Service People Survey results show civil servants are more engaged at work, not less, despite the challenges they are facing. We flagged maintaining staff morale as a key risk in our report Transforming Whitehall – so what do the results say about the state of the service?
How permanent are our permanent secretaries? Since the 2010 election 18 out of 20 departments have experienced at least one change of permanent secretary, with some moving departments and others leaving the Civil Service all together. At a time when departments are going through the most far-reaching reforms in a generation, the breadth and frequency of the changes provokes questions about how stable leadership is at the top of government.
A week after we published our report Transforming Whitehall the DfE review provides a radical blueprint for departmental transformation. How does it stack up against the success factors, risks and challenges we identified in our report? Could this be a pathfinder for the radical reinvention of Whitehall? Does it suggest that lasting reform is more likely to be driven by departments rather than the Cabinet Office?
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s decision to halt what would have been the largest prisons privatisation programme in UK history seems to be at odds with the Coalition’s efforts to speed up the use of competition across public services. But is it?