Working to make government more effective


The answers to Dominic Cummings’s critique: 10 essential reforms to government

Dominic Cummings rightly identified the need for reform – but was short on prescription. The government still shows appetite for reform – but what cha

In his seven hours of testimony to a Commons committee, the prime minister’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, laid out a portrait of a chaotic government failing in its basic functions. Some of that is due to the government’s newness when the pandemic hit; some to Boris Johnson’s character and style of management, and some to failings deep in the structure and process of modern British government. Even after Cummings’s exit, the Johnson team, particularly Michael Gove, have displayed commitment to changing the civil service. By learning from Cummings’s mistakes – dialling down the antagonism and being clearer about remedies – ministers now have a better chance to make reforms stick.

This report – drawing on Cummings’s evidence and longstanding IfG themes – sets out what they should do.

Institute for Government

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