Frank Fields 800x450

MPs launch fresh probe into Universal Credit

23 February 2017

Select committee seeks feedback on payment delays, registration errors, and possible tweaks

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin

Civil servants forced to "play the game" to make career progress, claims ex-minister Oliver Letwin

23 February 2017

Tory former Cabinet Office heavyweight heaps praise on staff at the centre of government – but hits out at civil service churn, the quality of advice, and the skills valued in line departments

Home Office, Marsham Street

DCLG rapped by stats watchdog over "disappointing" presentation of homelessness figures

23 February 2017

 Statements and press releases gave misleading picture of reduction in homelessness, the UK Statistics Authority finds, because press and policy teams failed to consult with statisticians...

The Queen meets female permanent secretaries for a reception at the Queen's Gallery, London - Image: PA

Queen hosts celebration of women in the senior civil service

22 February 2017

Dames Stella Rimington and Ursula Brennan among a group of female leaders who gathered at Buckingham Palace to mark growing number of women joining top ranks of civil service

Former cabinet secretary Lord Butler

Brexit: put deal to a fresh referendum, says former head of the civil service Lord Butler

22 February 2017

Government should not be "opposed to consulting the people on the outcome of the negotiations", argues former cabinet secretary

Kids in school classroom

DfE's free schools spending doubles as old buildings struggle

22 February 2017

Education department comes in for criticism as audit office report flags increasing free school costs as old buildings fall into disrepair

Money 800x450

Tom Gash of the Institute for Government: An end to bungled private sector deals?

10 February 2017

Proper management of outsourced services is the only way to avoid the contracting fiascos of recent years, argues the IfG's Tom Gash

whitehall numbers, statistics, data

Automation could free up talented public servants to focus on what they do best

6 February 2017

Automation will need to be handled with sensitivity by managers – but any upgrade in public services must start with the workforce, argues Alexander Hitchcock of the Reform think tank

Donald Trump

Trump inauguration: presidential transitions and intra-administration tensions

20 January 2017

As Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, Kings College London research fellow Joe Devanny looks at the tensions that arise between administrations and considers...

a telephone with a note attached to it saying 'call in sick'

Former DWP perm sec Sir Leigh Lewis on how to reduce sickness absence in the civil service

20 January 2017

Reducing sickness absence is a vital task for leaders, and it must start with some difficult conversations if real progress is to be made 

Town hall, devolution

Why the localism agenda in public services is failing to get off the ground

19 January 2017

Worrying projections about our “unsustainable” public finances mean the rhetoric around decentralisation must now become a reality

A view of Stormont at night time

The big stink that ended a Fresh Start: what the Northern Ireland crisis means for its civil service

18 January 2017

With a snap election looming after the Northern Ireland executive was brought down by a scandal over renewable heat incentives,  Alan Bermingham explores the governance and public finance...

Former Defra perm sec Bronwyn Hill

Bronwyn Hill interview: the former Defra chief on Brexit, nuclear and the day Owen Paterson made a splash

15 February 2017

Once credited as the woman who “smashed Whitehall’s glass ceiling”, Bronwyn Hill spent four years as Defra permanent secretary until she stepped down in 2015. She tells Sam Macrory about her new...

Former Welsh government Permanent secretary Sir Derek Jones

Exit interview: Sir Derek Jones on a "quiet revolution" and his stint as the Welsh government's top civil servant

14 February 2017

Just before he stepped down as permanent secretary of the Welsh Government, Sir Derek Jones told CSW's Suzannah Brecknell why, despite the challenges ahead, civil servants should be...

Sir Jeremy Heywood photographed for CSW by Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Sir Jeremy Heywood interview: the head of the UK civil service on a "very intense" few months

30 January 2017

Five years into his job as the UK's top official, Sir Jeremy Heywood faces his greatest challenge yet – ensuring the civil service he leads is ready for the mammoth task of leaving the European...

Ministry of Defence permanent secretary Stephen Lovegrove photographed by CSW by Paul Heartfield

Interview: MoD permanent secretary Stephen Lovegrove on NATO, Brexit and the future of his department

25 January 2017

The map of Whitehall has changed considerably in the months since Stephen Lovegrove left the Department of Energy and Climate Change to become Ministry of Defence perm sec. He tells Colin Marrs...

A picture of Microsoft's Toni Townes-Whitley

Changing the conversation: An interview with Microsoft's Toni Townes-Whitley

10 January 2017

CSW caught up with Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector to discuss transformation in times of austerity, the key to successful major projects and tackling the lack...

Civil service chief executive John Manzoni

Civil service CEO John Manzoni on 2017, Brexit priorities, and building a "brilliant" organisation

22 December 2016

With the end of 2016 fast approaching, we asked the UK's top officials to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2017 – and shed some light on their festive favourites. John Manzoni, chief...

Whitehall aerial view

Special report: How the new Government Property Agency is aiming to revolutionise the civil service estate

7 February 2017

Later this year, ownership of much of the government estate will be passed to a new Government Property Agency – with departments charged market-level rent for their offices in a bid to drive...

cartoon of employee seeking recognition from bosses

The five things all civil servants wish for

31 January 2017

If you had one wish for your work, what would it be? Alex Starritt asked officials from across the UK and around the world that very question. Their answers were strikingly similar...

Government speechwriter illustration

What's it really like being a government speechwriter?

27 January 2017

Words don’t come easily to everyone, but speechwriters have a head start. Department for Work and Pensions wordsmith James Doughty shares some trade secrets

Civil service Whitehall Westminster sign

A mandarin’s manual? Former DWP perm sec Sir Leigh Lewis reviews "How to be a Civil Servant"

16 May 2016

Former Department for Work and Pensions permanent secretary Leigh Lewis finds that Martin Stanley’s new book How to be a Civil Servant offers a valuable guide, but not quite the whole picture