Sir Bob: perm secs’ civil service reform objectives tightened up

Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the civil service, has tightened the wording of permanent secretaries’ objectives to hold them more closely to account for the progress of civil service reform, he’s told Civil Service World.


By Joshua.Chambers

13 Nov 2013

The objectives were published for the first time last year, but their reform objectives were left vague and set by departmental ministers, rather than the Cabinet Office. This year, Kerslake explained, “we’ve got a stronger set of reform objectives now” in all permanent secretary performance targets. “We’ll look at it again and see how we can do better next year,” he added. “We’re always trying to review and strengthen how we set objectives”

Kerslake has also changed his job-split to give him an extra day as head of the civil service. He used to work two days as head of the civil service, and three days as permanent secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG); that has now been reversed.

Asked by CSW about his decision to swap the proportions, he said: “Personally I think it’s working very well. Of course you keep it under review because this is a changing picture over time. But at the moment I think we’ve got the balance right. We’re delivering a very strong [civil service] reform programme and DCLG is a strong department.”

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