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For Foreign Office chief Simon Fraser, his relationships around Whitehall are as crucial as those with Washington. His main mission is to increase trade, he tells Matt Ross, and that means working with a host of other departments
Five government departments will be required to provide clearer guidance and complaints procedures for staff keen to set up public service mutuals, under new proposals designed to maintain the momentum behind the government’s public service reform agenda.
Just 16 per cent of civil servants are interested in exploring the idea of launching a ‘mutual’ organisation, with 69 per cent dismissing the idea, a CSW survey has found.
Despite the rhetoric, government has failed to engage with the charity sector. Just look at the Work Programme, says Stephen Bubb
A council worker tries to stay positive despite continued uncertainty
As the government prepares its civil service reform plans, CSW has carried out a major survey of civil servants – testing views both on how Whitehall is changing, and how it should change. Joshua Chambers reports.
Civil servants support moves to increase the transparency of government and to devolve powers down to local government and communities, but are strongly opposed to outsourcing delivery to the private and voluntary sectors, an exclusive poll by CSW has found.
As demand for traditional postal services declines, the Post Office is moving to occupy a new role assisting in the delivery of online public services. A week-long series of CSW seminars explored the implications for civil servants
The Canal & River Trust, the new name for British Waterways, has received charitable status from the Charity Commission.
Big Society Capital, the government’s social investment ‘bank’, is now accepting loan bids. The £600m institution aims to make it easier for charities, social enterprises and community groups to access finance.
Charities, civic engagement, public services reform and localism are at the heart of the government’s vision. However, the realisation of its vision of better services and more engaged citizens within the context of rapidly reducing budgets requires creative thinking. Charities have a unique role to play in building the society and services of the future, but those ambitions seem likely to remain unfulfilled if the right support and dialogue with government is not in place.
The launch of the Cabinet Office’s flagship public sector mutual, My Civil Service Pension (MyCSP), has been repeatedly delayed and it will now have to spin out from the public sector in the next financial year, CSW has learned.
Communities and Local Government Committee chair Clive Betts has known Bob Kerslake for years, and doesn’t doubt his commitment to localism – but some departments are less enthusiastic, he tells Joshua Chambers
A care manager says cuts can drive useful change – but uncertainty prevents it
The Public Services (Social Value) Bill has been passed by Parliament. It says that civil servants commissioning services must give consideration to economic, social and environmental wellbeing.
Departmental select committee chairs have provided mixed reviews of the departments they scrutinise for a Civil Service World Special Report, which has found that 40 per cent of them are dissatisfied with departments’ responses to their reports.
Ministers must champion the public potential of private cash
Voluntary sector bodies are warning that Cabinet Office plans to dramatically broaden access to public data may end up putting charities and social enterprises at a disadvantage in the competition for service delivery contracts, as private companies plead commercial confidentiality to evade new transparency rules.
Una O’Brien, permanent secretary at the Department of Health, is to be the next chair of the Civil Service Benevolent Fund.
The cost of government’s “bonfire of the quangos” will be nearly twice the amount estimated by departments, according to a report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) last week.
For today’s civil servants, says Defra permanent secretary Bronwyn Hill, success rests on the ability to work across organisational boundaries. Suzannah Brecknell hears her explain her philosophy – with plenty of examples.
Una O’Brien has taken the helm at the Department of Health as the NHS undergoes the most fundamental reforms in its history. She tells Suzannah Brecknell that persistence and partnership working will make those reforms work.
For years, the civil service has been urged to embrace innovation. Now shrinking budgets, the push for public sector reform and greater political appetite for risk are making this essential. Suzannah Brecknell reports.
While civil service salaries come under pressure, the government has announced a bold legislative programme. Joshua Chambers picks out the key bills which will affect officials’ work – including the plans for welfare reform.