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Many civil servants work in the government analogue service
The government’s open data programme is going to transform what citizens know about individual civil servants. Joshua Chambers meets Paul Maltby, the government’s director of transparency, to find out more
The Cabinet Office has backed down over plans to reform the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of all civil servants, CSW has learned. In a letter sent this month to all civil servants, civil service head Sir Bob Kerslake and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “The proposed changes will apply to new entrants and, potentially, staff on promotion.”
The Northern Ireland Executive has 12 departments – far more than the Scottish or Welsh Governments. Joshua Chambers examines the emerging plans to cut their number, and considers their chances
The civil service pay cap will continue for an extra year, and the government will also reform automatic pay rises for all civil servants, chancellor George Osborne announced in his budget today.
Former cabinet secretary Lord O’Donnell used the second part of his Radio 4 documentary on Tuesday, In Defence of Bureaucracy, to call for the retention of an impartial civil service, and to argue that the “occasionally intemperate tone” taken by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has “not helped” the “unusually strained” relationship between ministers and civil servants.
Whitehall experts have backed former cabinet secretary Lord Butler in calling for all departments to appoint historical advisers, CSW can reveal.
Most attempts to share services in Whitehall have been pretty disastrous. Joshua Chambers meets Paul Marriner, the man charged with demonstrating that shared services schemes don’t have to be expensive white elephants
In 2010, the Ministry of Justice outsourced its courts translation work – but the contractor struggled, and the system ground to a halt. As the probation outsourcing looms, Joshua Chambers looks at the lessons to be learned.
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The former cabinet secretaries Lords Butler and Turnbull have warned about the risks involved in mooted reforms under which ministers would appoint their own private office teams, CSW can reveal.
The Treasury’s financial accounts are “impenetrable” and the department is neglecting its duty to prevent poor spending decisions, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published last Friday.
Only Quentin Tarantino could start out making a film about slavery, and end up making a film about himself. In Django Unchained, the brutal reality of the ante-bellum South is used as a grotesque embellishment to a film with no real purpose other allowing the director to show off. At one point, he even swaggers on screen himself in one of the least convincing scenes of this abysmal film.
From helicopters to hospitals and new offices to the Olympic Park, civil servants are managing some colossal schemes. Joshua Chambers profiles the new training school designed to improve major project leadership
The government has now published its permanent secretaries’ objectives, listing the targets against which their performance will be assessed. Joshua Chambers explains how the move is likely to affect Whitehall leaders
Ministers do not have the power to pick their preferred permanent secretary from a shortlist, first civil service commissioner Sir David Normington said last week, and any further reforms to the system of permanent secretary appointments would require legislation. Meanwhile the head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake, has told CSW that the government currently has no plans to legislate.
The Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ’s) outsourcing of court interpretation services has been “shambolic” and greatly harmed service quality, according to a report published today by the Commons’ Justice Committee
Sir Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury permanent secretary, last week praised the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the National Audit Office (NAO) for their work in holding departments to account despite the “discomfort” of his fellow permanent secretaries.
It is the duty of civil servants to challenge weak policy ideas, the director general of civil service reform, Katherine Kerswell, has told Civil Service World – even if officials risk being seen as “obstructive”.
The failure of the Department for Transport to properly let the West Coast Mainline franchise sent shockwaves through the civil service. Joshua Chambers looks at the lessons to be learned – and how the DfT is responding
Katherine Kerswell and Clare Sumner are heading up the tricky task of civil service reform. Joshua Chambers meets the dynamic duo leading the drive to shake up Whitehall’s skills, structures and working practices
Finance professionals believe that the senior management teams of their organisations have a “deep understanding” or are “aware of the importance” of the finance function, a CSW survey has found.
As director of the Scotland Office, Alun Evans is in charge of Whitehall’s efforts to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. Joshua Chambers meets the man coordinating a vast campaign encompassing most departments
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Tensions between civil servants in London and those in Edinburgh are “inevitable” over the next two years as we move towards the planned 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, Alun Evans, director of the Scotland Office, has told Civil Service World.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has paused his plans to allow ministers to choose their permanent secretary from an approved shortlist, after the Civil Service Commission intervened to propose a compromise arrangement.
Janice Hartley and Sue Moore started their roles as directors of delivery for Universal Credit at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 5 November, replacing Steve Dover, the previous director of programme delivery. Hartley was previously the DWP’s interim service delivery director for corporate IT, and Moore was its fraud and error programme director. A DWP spokesperson told CSW the roles were not “direct replacements” for Dover because “the scope of the roles of senior staff has changed” as the project moves from the design to delivery phase.
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Failure to properly communicate the increase in university tuition fees to £9,000 a year has already caused a large drop in student numbers and may also affect applications this year, Professor Les Ebdon, director of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has told Civil Service World.
Breaking the cycle of welfare dependence is a complex task. Approaching the issue in a more scientific manner can pay dividends, the Department for Work and Pensions’ social justice director explains to Joshua Chambers
The government is looking to establish joint ventures so that some of its intellectual property businesses can enter international markets, Stephen Kelly, government’s new chief operating officer, has told CSW.
MPs have rejected the ‘Osmotherly’ rules, which dictate how and when civil servants can be called in front of select committees, and have called for a new settlement that gives them the power to summon officials to committee hearings.
The seven departments with the biggest online services must start redesigning their transaction systems by April 2013 – improving service quality, and ensuring that websites meet a new set of standards – while all other departments must publish a basic plan by the end of December to move their services to a “digital by default basis”, the government announced in its digital strategy last week. It also said that departments must ensure that people without access to the internet can continue to use public services.