george osborne on a railway line

Public Accounts Committee: Department for Transport still facing rail capability gaps despite pay flexibility

12 February 2016

Transport department has improved its ability to let rail franchises, MPs say, but still lacks the capability to manage them, and does not have a “coherent strategic vision” for the rail system...

Homer PAC

Public Accounts Committee challenges HMRC chief Lin Homer over Google tax settlement

11 February 2016

HMRC chief executive Dame Lin Homer has told members of the Public Accounts Committee that civil servants should be proud of progress in tackling tax avoidance on the part of large companies...

Whitehall sign

Sharp rise in public sector outsourcing over the past six months - study

11 February 2016

Latest Outsourcing Index by firm arvato finds 26% year-on-year rise in government spending on outsourcing


MyCSP: Civil service pension problems left officials facing "hardship & distress", says NAO

11 February 2016

Report by the National Audit Office lays bare the problems facing flagship mutual - but Cabinet Office says it has taken steps to turn the situation around. Unions meanwhile welcomed the spending...

Business secretary Sajid Javid

BIS estate to shrink from 80 sites to "seven or eight", says minister Sajid Javid – as perm sec Martin Donnelly is pressed on Sheffield closure

10 February 2016

90% of business department's sites to close under BIS 2020 programme, says Sajid Javid, as Martin Donnelly calls decision to shut Sheffield office "one of the most difficult" of his career

Department for Education

Department for Education falling short on teacher recruitment, says National Audit Office

10 February 2016

Spending watchdog finds DfE has a "weak understanding" of the scale of local shortages and how to resolve them – but department says UK now has the "...

Lord Maude

Lord Maude to quit frontline politics

10 February 2016

Former Cabinet Office minister leaving trade post "pretty soon" to take on private sector and not-for-profit roles

businessman launching himself in a slingshot

Government Digital Service programme director Janet Hughes: What if boldness were an explicit value of the civil service?

28 January 2016

Civil servants will always need to be honest, impartial, objective, and act with integrity – but we must make sure we don’t encourage passivity or inertia

Corporate cannibalism - credit: Fotolia

Corporate cannibalism and stealing good ideas: how the civil service can eat itself fitter

22 January 2016

Most officials will be aware of cases where “perverse incentives” hamper better service delivery. Joshua Chambers takes a global view of how corporate cannibalism and bare-faced theft can be a...

People doing a puzzle as a team

Jane Dudman: If John Manzoni and Jeremy Heywood had watched more reality TV, they would understand that bringing in alpha leaders isn't always the answer

19 January 2016

The recent NAO report and Civil Service People Survey both suggest Whitehall could learn some important lessons about leadership and teamwork from the behaviour displayed on reality television

A picture of the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos

Adrian Brown: As world leaders gather in Davos, they should seize the chance to turn ideas into impact

19 January 2016

With the path from Whitehall to Davos well-worn, Adrian Brown suggests how delegates at this week's event might turn pledges into reality 

Bob Kerslake photographed by Mark Weeks for Civil Service World

Lord Kerslake interview: “Civil servants are more at risk from ministers’ off-the-record briefings to the press than they are from FoI”

29 January 2016

Ex-civil service head Lord Kerslake talks to Daniel Bond about the Trade Union Bill, Freedom of Information – and why he is using his platform in the House of Lords as a chance to speak his mind...

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) permanent secretary Melanie Dawes, photographed for CSW by Paul Heartfield

Interview: DCLG permanent secretary Melanie Dawes on devolution and encouraging the civil service to let go

25 January 2016

At the Department for Communities and Local Government, Melanie Dawes is busy encouraging civil servants to give up their powers over local public services. She opens up to Suzannah Brecknell...

Civil Service Learning director Hilary Spencer

Interview: Civil Service Learning director Hilary Spencer – "It’s an oldie but a goodie: people are our greatest asset"

21 January 2016

Four years on from a major overhaul of Whitehall’s learning and development programme, Civil Service Learning is embarking on another big shake-up. Matt Foster...

Met Office chief executive Rob Varley

Interview: Met Office chief executive Rob Varley on the BBC, climate change – and the risks of public sector pay restraint

5 January 2016

The Met Office's first home-grown chief executive talks to Jess Bowie about leading the award-winning organisation, grappling with the effects of public sector pay restraint​, and his concerns...

Sir Derek Jones, Permanent Secretary for the Welsh Government

Sir Derek Jones: the Welsh government's top official on devolution and a year of "intense pressure and scrutiny"

23 December 2015

With the end of 2015 in sight, we asked Whitehall's top officials to review the year, set out their priorities for 2016 – and shed some light on their festive...

Ordnance Survey (OS) chief executive Nigel Clifford

Ordnance Survey CEO Nigel Clifford on a "year of transition" and his first months in the top job

23 December 2015

With the end of 2015 in sight, we asked Whitehall's top officials to review the year, set out their priorities for 2016 – and shed some light on their festive...


Crossrail: on time and on budget, is this how to get a major infrastructure project right?

8 February 2016

Crossrail, the capital’s new east-west rail link, is on track to open on time and on budget. As well as being a boon for commuters, it could also improve the UK’...

illustration of a man holding a safety net

Frontline: A care home manager on why cuts to social care could mean a return to the bad old days

29 January 2016

A care home manager discusses how the pressures facing the sector – including budget cuts and high staff turnover – impact on some of the most vulnerable people in society

James Bond 007

James Bond, Humphrey Appleby, Terri Coverly – who's the greatest ever fictional civil servant?

22 October 2015

Many of the world’s most famous government officials never actually existed. As the legendary crown servant James Bond returns to our screens in Spectre, we profile some more made-up...

An image of the word leadership being constructed

Review: New book from former Whitehall speechwriter Simon Lancaster explores the language of leadership

19 August 2015

Images of journeys, food and friends work wonders in speeches – but phrases like “accelerating reform” are a definite turn-off. Oliver Rowe reviews Simon Lancaster’s Winning Minds: Secrets...


"Claustrophobic and marvellously inventive" – 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre

6 August 2015

Theatre review: Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's retelling of George Orwell's classic makes for a superbly nervy viewing experience