The 2010 Spending Review committed the Civil Service to making the largest cuts in public spending since the end of the Second World War. Departments except Health and International Development, saw an average settlement reduction of 19% over four years, with all departments committing to at least a 33% reduction in their administrative spending.

As a result, virtually all Whitehall departments are currently implementing major change programmes in order to deliver 'better', and in some cases very different, outcomes at substantially reduced cost.These transformation programmes are among the most important initiatives currently underway in central government. How effectively they are led and managed will go a long way to determining the future shape and capability of Whitehall.

Analysis of Whitehall reform

The Institute has been researching how to lead major change in Whitehall since 2009 when we were invited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out a real-time evaluation of their Transforming Justice programme. Since then, the Institute has worked closely with several other departments, conducted over 200 interviews with leaders across Whitehall, run workshops on key issues, and drawn on the insights of an expert Advisory Group.

Whitehall since the 2010 Spending Review

Two years on from the Spending Review, the Institute’s report Transforming Whitehall: Leading major change in Whitehall departments is the first look at how departments have coped with the changes demanded by the spending review and what lessons can be drawn so far from this first round of downsizing and reforms.

The report brings together the knowledge and expertise developed by the Institute in the course of its work on transformation across Whitehall. The project was developed in order to help leaders understand the barriers and enablers to leading major change in government departments and to identify the key challenges ahead.


Project contacts

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