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In a Special Report published in CSW on 25 September, we examined 12 major projects: three each from the defence, transport, health, and work & pensions departments. We chose projects of a range of types, and covering the ‘traffic light’ risk spectrum from green to red. The text below covers one of the four departments: click here to read our introduction and methodology.
The civil service has been ranked fifth in the 2013-14 Times Top 100 Graduate Employers in list, published last week.
Three-quarters of civil servants say their department has no way to capture and share information about skills across the organisation, according to a survey carried out by Civil Service World in conjunction with recruitment firm Monster.
Senior civil servants can no longer expect to remain out of the public eye, according to NHS England chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who has faced attacks from newspapers and patient groups over his involvement in the crisis at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
NHS chief Sir David Nicholson has faced a storm of criticism in recent months as concerns over care quality have rocked hospitals across the country. He tells Suzannah Brecknell of his determination to fix the problems
The Department of Health (DH) will provide hospitals with cash to invest in electronic patient records in a £1bn investment scheme announced today by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Oliver Morley, currently chief executive of the National Archives, has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Are you thinking as far ahead as the best brains in business? Suzannah Brecknell, listening in at Civil Service Live, heard from the men who argue that your country needs you to keep your eyes on the far horizon.
Suzannah Brecknell hears Facebook’s policy chief Simon Milner discuss how government can use social media more effectively
Public service mutuals have been given too much “soft finance” – non-repayable grants – as they spin out of local and central government, which has “lowered the bar” and allowed “some mutuals to spin out without developing the right capabilities and plans,” according to a report published by the Cabinet Office today.
The one thing which Churchill’s Secret Cabinet doesn’t tell us – as it builds gradually up towards its examination of 43 previously-unheard recordings of Winston Churchill, found recently in an old record cabinet – is how the staff at the Churchill Archive managed to overlook these gems for nearly two decades. Perhaps the researcher charged with looking through the cabinet when the archive first received it 20 years ago was distracted by an offer of lunch as they sifted through the Gilbert & Sullivan.
Cabinet Office permanent secretary Richard Heaton used his first appearance at the Public Administration Select Committee to give a bullish appraisal of Civil Service Reform progress. Suzannah Brecknell reports.
Of all the agendas set out last year in the government’s Civil Service Reform Plan, the fastest progress is being made on ‘digital by default’, a CSW survey has found. Over half (53%) of civil servants said their organisation is making rapid or steady progress on this agenda, and 55% said that the reform would 'dramatically' or 'significantly' improve the civil service.
A third of civil servants fear taking a secondment outside government could damage their career and promotion prospects, according to a survey carried out by CSW and cyber security specialists McAfee.
As the Bishop of Liverpool’s effective Hillsborough panel demonstrates, inquiries don’t always require huge amounts of time and money. Presenting a spotter’s guide to inquiries, Suzannah Brecknell tracks their continuing evolution.
Politicians should not use cabinet secretaries as arbiters to judge disputed issues, Lord Armstrong has warned in a video interview produced by Queen Mary University of London.
The Labour party would consider merging “management and bureaucracy” across government departments, agencies and other public services as part of a “zero based spending review” if it wins power at the next election, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said yesterday.
Reforms overseen by the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) have generated £10bn savings in the last financial year, ministers have today announced.
Shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett has said that it “cannot be right” that “the highest levels of the civil service are drawn almost exclusively from a narrow social elite”, and pledged that Labour would tackle the “existence of elitism, whether it be through structural, process, or embedded sub-conscious prejudice” if the party wins power in 2015.
Plans requiring senior civil servants at the Department of Health (DH) to spend 20 working days a year on the frontline are “absurd”, Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Public Administration Select Committee, said on Monday.
Aeronautics are a good example of a new form of partnership between government and industry. Suzannah Brecknell looks at the levers which can enable Whitehall and business to effectively work togeth
George Catlin American Indian Portraits
National Portrait Gallery
Until 23 June
Departments must fully evaluate cloud-based products when buying new or renewing existing IT services, and will only be able to purchase non-cloud-based alternatives if they can demonstrate that this offers better value for money, under a ‘Cloud First’ policy announced by the Cabinet Office last week.
The Cabinet Office has created a joint venture company to commercialise government’s portfolio of ‘Best Management Practice’ training tools and services.
The British Library’s vast collection is about to get much bigger. Suzannah Brecknell meets its new chief executive, Roly Keating, to find out how the world’s second largest library is reinventing itself for the digital age
The government needs a chief financial officer (CFO) “who is clearly and visibly responsible for ensuring that spending decisions are made on the basis of financial analysis and for measuring the outcomes in terms of value for money and performance management,” Rebecca McCaffry, innovation specialist at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), has told CSW.
The CloudStore is a key part of plans to change the way government buys ICT, but many civil servants don’t even know what it is. Suzannah Brecknell attends a seminar exploring how departments can buy bargains online.
In 2010, a CSW survey revealed civil servants’ feelings about their training. Three years on, post budget cuts and Civil Service Learning, we’ve asked them again – with quite different results. Suzannah Brecknell reports.
The former head of construction for the London 2012 Olympic games, Howard Shiplee, has been appointed to lead the delivery of Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced today.
The civil service pay cap will continue for an extra year, limiting pay increases to an average of one per cent per year until 2015-16, and the government will also seek to end automatic pay rises for all civil servants, chancellor George Osborne announced in his Budget last week.
Since Derek Jones began working on Welsh governance, the country’s administration has largely shifted from London to Cardiff. And now more devolution is on the way, Wales’s new perm sec tells Suzannah Brecknell
Most central government departments will have to cut spending by two per cent over the next two years in order to fund a £2.5bn investment in infrastructure, it has been reported.
While the overall story of women in the civil service is a positive one, the number of female permanent secretaries has fallen dramatically in the last two years. Should we be concerned? Suzannah Brecknell investigates.
All civil servants should be trained in design principles such as using prototypes and involving users to create solutions, according to a report published today by the Design Commission, an industry-led group that investigates how design could address public policy problems.
The Cabinet Office has published a new competency framework which will apply to all civil servants from 1 April. The framework lists a set of attributes and behaviours which all 420,000 civil servants should aspire to, and breaks down how these could be demonstrated at every grade across the service.
The government has signed an agreement with private-sector partner arvato to manage an independently-run shared service centre, which will run back-office transactions to government departments. The move is intended to create savings of up to £600m a year over seven years.