In his first message to officials, new cabinet secretary Simon Case has said he wants to “modernise” the civil service and position it as “effective, evidence-driven [and] adaptable”.
In an internal memo, seen by CSW, Case told staff they “will need to pull out all the stops to deliver what the public expects”.
He said he was taking on the mantle of cab sec and head of the civil service from Sir Mark Sedwill “in what can fairly be described as challenging times”.
“This includes managing the Covid-19 pandemic, kickstarting the nation’s economic recovery, navigating the transition out of the EU, maintaining the integrity of the union, all while supporting the government to deliver on its ambitious manifesto commitments.”
Case, a former No.10 PPS and senior Brexit official, has been heading up the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis since he was appointed No.10 permanent secretary in May. That appointment marked his return to the civil service after two years at private secretary to Prince Wiliam.
"Our response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown what we are capable of, thousands of you have worked tirelessly over the last few months to design innovative ways of delivering frontline services to our citizens," Case wrote.
"We must build on this momentum and also demonstrate our ability to act as an effective, evidence-driven, adaptable service. This will be vital as we continue our journey towards becoming a world-leading 21st-Century government machine with people that can unlock the potential of data, invite challenge and remove the obstacles that frustrate us."
The cab sec said there was already "amazing talent and ambition" among government officials "and we must find every way to unleash it".
"One of my top priorities is to fire up an innovative, energetic, imaginative civil service that puts the citizen at the heart of what it does and delivers the best results for the UK," he added.
"I am certain that with your hard work, can-do team spirit and innovation we can draw upon our huge array of talent as we modernise the civil service ready to lead the country into a bright future."
And Case said he wanted to place on record his "warm thanks" to his predecessor. Sedwill stepped down yesterday after two years in the job.