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Once, civil servants hacked away at unfashionable railways in favour of cars and aeroplanes – but now trains are once again seen as transports of the future. Joshua Chambers meets High Speed 2 chief executive Alison Munro
The High Speed 2 company needs to be given greater freedoms from Treasury restrictions so that it can attract the best project managers and construction workers, Alison Munro, chief executive of the project, has told Civil Service World.
A member of the Public Administration Select Committee last week stormed out of a hearing and criticised chair Bernard Jenkin MP.
The government’s new horizon-scanning programme is “flawed” and contains “substantial weaknesses,” according to the Science and Technology Select Committee.
The government should conduct a comprehensive review of its interventions in Afghanistan in 2001, the Commons’ Defence Committee said in a report on Tuesday. This should encompass not just military operations, but all the UK’s work under the NATO and UN missions.
Politicians needs to stop unfairly criticising civil servants and start appreciating their work, Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA trade union, has said today.
The civil service’s “old-fashioned” structures, procedures, budgetary processes and spending controls are constraining the Highways Agency’s ability to focus on the long-term and attract highly-skilled staff, the agency’s chief executive Graham Dalton has told Civil Service World.
Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton is leading his organisation out of the civil service for a new life as a government-owned company. He tells Joshua Chambers why he can’t wait to escape Whitehall’s stifling rules
The Home Office “poorly planned” and “badly managed” its commissioning of asylum-seekers’ housing, the Public Accounts Committee said last week, and the project “is unlikely to yield the savings intended.”
The Crown Commercial Service has started purchasing energy tariffs for all government departments, launching a project last week to invite bids for a 15-year deal from renewable energy generators.
The Ministry of Defence’s Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S) division was this month turned into an arm’s-length body and given an exemption from Treasury salary controls and civil service-wide promotion criteria.
Inadequate defences and complacency led to the 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, the Commons’ Defence Committee said yesterday.
The Civil Service Commission won’t reform the appointment process for permanent secretaries without the backing of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC), first civil service commissioner Sir David Normington has told CSW.
Procurement rules have long been denounced as tangled by British civil servants and ministers alike. Joshua Chambers reports on new reforms that have sought to cut away the excess and allow officials greater freedoms
Public sector procurement professionals must prepare to make the most of new EU procurement rules that allow government to penalise poor suppliers, Sally Collier, government’s deputy chief procurement officer, has told CSW.
The government “got its maths wrong” when planning to raise tuition fees, according to Nick Hillman, former special adviser to university minister David Willetts.
After railways, hotels are the best setting for intrigue, romance and murder – locations where people take only the baggage they need, leaving everything else behind and experimenting in ways they’d never dare in their everyday lives.
The transport department (DfT) is setting up a new Rail Executive unit, with greater pay flexibilities, to tackle capability and recruitment problems, CSW has learned.
The civil service is suffering from “weak corporate leadership” which is undermining its efforts to achieve cross-departmental savings or plan efficiency work beyond 2015, according to a report published today by the Institute for Government (IfG).
Like our armed forces, the civil service’s battle against waste is split between three commands. Joshua Chambers examines the Institute for Government’s ideas for turning these scattered forces into an effective fighting force
The Committee on Standards in Public Life was established to keep our politicians and public employees honest. Its chair Lord Bew admits to Joshua Chambers that it’s losing both staff, and its remit to comment on current events
Two departments will pilot new pay rules which give them greater flexibility in spending their pay budget, the Budget announced today.
Departments have been given permission to increase pay for senior civil servants by up to 1%, Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, announced today.
The Labour Party has criticised the Department for Education (DfE) for employing “party ideologues” as senior officials.
With the environment department badly hit in the Spending Review, many of its agencies saw hefty cuts. Joshua Chambers speaks to Dave Webster, chief executive of Natural England, on how the quango wielded its secateurs.
Even after years of public sector outsourcing, many departments still struggle to attract a wide range of bidders for new contracts. Joshua Chambers explores how government could create more diverse and thriving markets
The prime minister should not be given the power to select permanent secretaries, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) says in a report published today.
The Department for Education (DfE) has appointed 28-year-old Tom Shinner as its director of strategy and performance.
The Home Office, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Cabinet Office are combining their internal design teams to create a new cross-government shared service, CSW can reveal.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has continued to improve staff engagement this year, while the Department for Education (DfE) has presided over the largest yearly fall, the 2013 Civil Service People Survey results show. The results mean that the DWP’s engagement score has now overtaken the DfE’s, at 54 compared to 51.
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Oliver Robbins, formerly the deputy national security adviser, has been appointed ‘director general for civil service’ in the Cabinet Office.
When 1984 arrived, it didn’t neatly fit George Orwell’s vision of a cowed population kept in line by the feared Thought Police. But as Joshua Chambers discovers in that year’s Cabinet Papers, it’s not hard to find parallels.
The government monitored civil servants’ participation in industrial action so that it could illegally hinder their career prospects and block their promotion, according to government papers from 1984 released this month by The National Archives.
The Civil Service Commission has today launched a consultation into whether it should give the prime minister a greater say over the appointment of permanent secretaries.