Analysis & Opinion

More Analysis & Opinion

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 implications of the Stormont crisis 

Jill Rutter: Why we need a fresh approach to tax policymaking

16 January 2017

Having cut the calendar of major fiscal events from two a year to just one, chancellor Philip Hammond must now use his extra time and energy to add some grit to the tax policymaking process

Fixing HMRC's performance management system could benefit vulnerable claimants as well as staff

12 January 2017

The "guided distribution" constraints put upon HMRC officials can worsen the financial hardship of tax credit claimants, argues Bangor University's Sara Closs-Davies

Are high-profile resignations like Sir Ivan Rogers' the sign of a healthy system?

10 January 2017

Exactly why the UK's EU ambassador resigned will remain a mystery for some time. But, says former special adviser Dan Corry, top officials usually quit when subject to constant criticising, whispering and gossip from politicians

"Enemies of the people"? It's not Whitehall's job to carry out simplistic commands without question

9 January 2017

The recent attacks on the civil service paint it as being incapable of making Brexit work. But senior officials are increasingly alarmed that the government is forcing them into positions that make them look stupid and out of control

As Brexiteers trashed Sir Ivan Rogers' reputation, why did ministers stay silent?

5 January 2017

Many talented civil servants have stepped forward to work on Brexit, says Dave Penman of the FDA union. So why aren't ministers doing more to defend them?

Why the public sector needs data champions

3 January 2017

Opening up the government's data sets will make public service commissioning more effective as well as helping service users, argues Andrew Weston of charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital

Dame Julie Mellor: Why departments must take citizens' complaints seriously

21 December 2016

Complaints are an opportunity for public services to learn and improve, says Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor, as the watchdog publishes fresh research on how departments respond to public concerns

How Whitehall can help make Theresa May's policy priorities stick

15 December 2016

From social mobility to industrial strategy, the new prime minister must act now if she wants her big priorities to get off the ground, says the Institute for Government's Emma Norris

Brexit challenges what the civil service values most: continuity and certainty

12 December 2016

Whitehall has retained its objectivity as beyond dispute since the referendum result. But in 2017, officials will need to help ministers manage public expectations of what Brexit will achieve