The deficit reduction plan has resulted in plans for an unprecedented reduction in civil service budgets. And the Coalition’s ambitions for localism, transparency, outcome based commissioning and mutuals add to the pressure for change.
In June 2012 the new leaders of the civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir Bob Kerslake, and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, published their Civil Service Reform Plan – launching it at the Institute for Government.
We produced seven tests to allow us to judge whether it was a good plan. Our verdict was that it was a promising start, with some bold ideas. But there are tough challenges if they are to make the progress that is needed. It will be important to apply the lessons from past civil service reforms. We will continue to track progress and provide challenge to senior leaders as the plan develops and the key actions are implemented.
Unsurprisingly, the Civil Service Reform Plan addresses a number of core areas of the Institute's work:
- new delivery models
- delivering value for money
- making policies better designed for implementation
- build the capability skills and knowledge that the civil service needs
- clarify accountability and responsibility in Whitehall and Westminster.
The Institute is working with politicians and civil servants to help them lead this transformation successfully. We are doing this in six ways:
- in-depth research on specific areas
- working with officials and politicians to test and challenge some of the reform ideas as they are being developed and implemented
- action research into some of the biggest departmental transformations
- fact-based commentary on the civil service
- tailored learning and development programmes
- seminars and workshops with international experts and practitioners.