The Civil Service Reform Plan has now been published. We have set out seven key tests to evaluate whether the plan is a significant step towards a programme that will transform the Civil Service, or just another white paper style bubble that quickly bursts.

The story told by the application of our seven tests is largely positive, for such an early stage of reform.

It is a promising plan with some bold ideas, with the potential to achieve needed improvements. But all depends on the consistency, coherence and energy of implementation. Some statements show a serious appetite for reform. The plan is relevant to the whole of the Civil Service, not just the policy making elite. It addresses many key issues that reform must tackle. But it is early days. There are plenty of questions to answer before we can judge whether the reform ideas will be turned into actions that transform the Civil Service. The Institute for Government will follow up this initial response up with a detailed examination of many of the proposals.

Related publications:
Seven tests for the new reform plan

News release:
Our verdict on the civil service reform plan

Event podcast:
Interviews with Sir Jeremy Heywood, Sir Bob Kerslake, Francis Maude and Peter Riddell

Event video:

Related media coverage:
IfG in the news