Bureaucrat bashing is, for many, an attractive and enjoyable blood sport. It is built into the DNA of certain parts of Fleet Street, providing easy targets as the hapless bureaucrats have no real means of defending themselves.
The Institute's latest report, Balancing Act, proposes a range of reforms to enhance parliament's role in the public appointments process, including a veto over appointment to and dismissal from 25 top posts.
Just over a year ago, the Institute published 'Shaping Up': a vision for the future of Whitehall. The Irish have drawn on it for their new programme of government - which offers an experiment in radical reform born out its crisis.
Caroline Spelman MP is extricating herself from the woods on forests by remitting the issue to a panel of experts. She is not alone in asking for outsiders to help sort a knotty policy problem. But in Britain every time we do this, we have to set up a new review from scratch. There is an alternative approach, as Australia's Productivity Commission shows.