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As Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor and then foreign secretary, Geoffrey Howe was responsible for some of the era’s most contentious policies. He talks to Matthew O’Toole about governing the country in recessionary times
Only death and taxes are certain, they say. But Dave Hartnett tells Ruth Keeling that the profession isn’t that predictable
As director general of the Attorney General’s Office, Peter Fish plays a key role in the complex structure of top Whitehall lawyers. He tells Matthew O’Toole why his boss’s ancient role is still so important in the 21st century
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments checks that there’s no impropriety when top officials and ministers leave government for the private sector. Matt Ross meets Lord Lang, the committee’s new chairman
Philippa Stroud is the director of the Centre for Social Justice, which plays a key role in shaping Conservative policy. Matt Ross learns about a strand of Tory thinking that stresses restoration rather than retribution
Once, interim managers concentrated on covering maternity leave. But now the demand is to cut costs – and civil service leaders are bringing in interims to plan and enact painful change programmes. Matt Ross reports.
This week, a former mental health nurse explains why she left the profession just seven months after qualifying.
The Cabinet Office has launched a new strategy, setting out the future of information technology for the decade ahead. Ruth Keeling discovers ideas that could transform many government operations – including the ‘G-cloud.
This week we meet a police officer who works to identify and recover the proceeds of crime.
Sir Brian Bender’s Whitehall career ended last year after a stint leading the business department, but he watches government closely still – and has strong views on civil service reform and austerity. Matthew O’Toole hears them
Dominic Martin represents the UK at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, better known as the OECD. He tells Matthew O’Toole how Whitehall can get more out of the statistic-gathering organisation
Lisa Harker co-leads IPPR, the think-tank most closely associated with the New Labour era. But as Matthew O’Toole hears, these days she’s just as keen to engage with other political parties – not to mention Whitehall
The latest figures show that government bodies are making patchy progress towards their 2010-11 targets for sustainable operations. Ruth Keeling examines both what’s helping them improve, and what’s holding them back.
The money public bodies spend on artwork or sculpture for their buildings is often seen as a frivolous waste. Penny Johnson, director of the Government Art Collection, gives Ruth Keeling the counter argument
Lords reform, freedom of information, devolution, not to mention MPs’ expenses – policymakers and lawyers at the Ministry of Justice have had a busy decade. Ruth Keeling talks to constitutional issues chief Rowena Collins Rice
Planning inspectors may be small in number, but they have a crucial say in our country’s development. Head of profession Rynd Smith tells Matthew O’Toole what qualities they need
Having left the Sustainable Development Commission, veteran environment activist Jonathon Porritt can now speak freely on sustainability policy. Matthew O’Toole hears complaints that Whitehall has resisted change
In the first of a series of interviews with think-tank leaders, Matt Ross meets Andrew Haldenby: the plain-speaking director of influential, right-leaning think-tank Reform – and an ascerbic critic of the civil service
Without a coordinated approach to intervention in conflicts, both nations and departments can end up working at cross-purposes. Matt Ross meets Richard Teuten, who fosters over-arching UK strategies on armed struggles
In a week when the weather has disrupted travel and brought a surreal dimension to life, Edward Garnier still manages to be amazed by the latest abortive coup against the prime minister.
This week’s interviewee works with young people leaving residential care, and is based in the social work department of a deprived, inner-city local authority in England.
This week’s public servant is a part-time postman at a Royal Mail sub-post office, with experience in a major sorting office.
Former information commissioner Richard Thomas has a new job: overseeing the government’s systems of administrative justice. He talks to Matt Ross about the challenges, potential and importance of both roles
Special advisers occupy a twilight zone between elected politicians and the formal structures of the civil service. In a special report, we profile these ‘spads’ – the group Clare Short called “the people who live in the dark."