Analysis & Opinion

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Cabinet Office Whitehall

Cracking the code: getting the relationship between departments and arm’s-length bodies right

16 March 2017

Research by the Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF), Association of Chief Executives (ACE) and Institute for Government (IfG) is to review the impact of the Code of Good Practice for partnerships between departments and arm’s-length bodies (ALBs).

HM Treasury - Image by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It's time to get spending reviews out into the open

14 March 2017

The latest round of efficiency savings demanded by the Treasury will set civil servants off on a merry dance. Given the official hours devoted to such reviews, is it time for rethink?

Social Mobility

Apprenticeships Guide 2017

13 March 2017

Find out more about work to expand apprenticeships in Whitehall and beyond


Leigh Lewis: We need a better early warning system to flag up short-sighted spending cuts

10 March 2017

We shouldn't have to wait until the wheels fall off to find that cuts to services have gone way beyond any sustainable level, argues the former DWP permanent secretary

stressed man

Why civil service leaders need to take workplace stress seriously

9 March 2017

Departmental chiefs must work to create an environment that’s good for body and mind

Sir Michael Barber pictured at an Institute for Government event

What can civil servants expect from Michael Barber's Whitehall efficiency review?

8 March 2017

The Treasury announced this week that Sir Michael Barber – former head of the Blair-era Prime Minister's Delivery Unit – will be heading up the latest in a long line of reviews of civil service efficiency. Adrian Brown, who has worked closely with Barber, spells out what Whitehall can expect.

Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill, photographed for CSW by Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Why the UK needs a better process for appointing national security advisers

3 March 2017

With the appointment of Mark Sedwill, Britain is now on its fourth national security adviser since 2010. Dr Joe Devanny asks whether such churn at the top really makes for effective government

Former Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin, photographed for CSW by Gary Dunn, Photoshot

Oliver Letwin's attacks on civil servants show an ex-minister divorced from the reality of what they do

2 March 2017

FDA general secretary Dave Penman takes the former Cabinet Office minister to task after he said civil servants in line departments rely too heavily on jargon and management skills to get by

HM Treasury

"Crisis, cash, repeat" is no way to run public services – the Treasury must explain its spending decisions

28 February 2017

Without publishing the rationale for its spending decisions, the government risks being bounced from crisis to crisis, unable to restore the public finances or ensure quality

Cooperation, collaboration, image credit: Pixabay

Why it's time to transform the relationships between departments and arm's-length bodies

27 February 2017

Lesley Ann Nash, the Cabinet Office's director for public bodies reform, explains how the government's new code is aiming to shift relationships between departments and arm’s-length bodies away from compliance and control towards a proportionate, risk-based partnership model

Social Mobility

Greg Hobbs: How the civil service's Fast Track apprenticeship scheme is opening doors

22 February 2017

As the civil service Fast Track apprenticeship programme opens for a new round of applications, the Cabinet Office's deputy director of early talent Greg Hobbs explains how the scheme can offer a springboard into a variety of government careers – and introduces two apprentices who've benefited from it

Image giving the impression of a crowd of people

Why the Civil Service Workforce Plan doesn't go far enough

17 February 2017

Most of the challenges the Workforce Plan purports to tackle are ones that Whitehall has bumped up against for decades. Perhaps it's time to start interrogating the civil service's Victorian structures – rather than simply adding layers of reform on top, argues Andrew Greenway