A new Prime Minister takes over towards the end of a long period of his party being in power. He replaces a charismatic and controversial, but highly successful in electoral terms, predecessor. His government is becoming increasingly unpopular and an election is looming. What new policy wheeze can he come up with on public services […]
I thought the following letter was an interesting addition to discussion about Parlaiment’s role in deciding budgets (see also my post on PF Blog) from former civil and public servant Des McConaghy.
For those who are interested the UK weekly magazine Public Finance have just re-launched their website, including a new blogging facility to which I’m contributing original entries like this one about Speaker Bercow which are not posted here (Whitehall Watch).
The Public Administration Select Committee today publishes its report (and evidence sessions) on Good Government. I have reproduced the main recommendations below, their analysis is well worth reading. Especially pleasing is that they have accepted my proposal (see section 5 of the Report) that the remit of the National Audit Office be expanded to something […]
In the film Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. famously demands of his Agent Maguire (Tom Cruise) that he “show me the money”. The message (in context) is simple – no amount of smooth talking from his Agent is good enough – Gooding’s character wants to see the actual money. This is a good lesson to […]
Probably the most important role of Whitehall departments is giving policy advice to Ministers. It is therefore curious that policy-making did not figure directly in the Capability Reviews that central government departments have been going through in the past few years.
The debate on the future of the public finances and especially spending on public services has finally come to the fore after all the diversions of the past few months. What are the crucial questions that we should demand of our politicians? Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to try to outline what […]
I think I was the first person to suggest Anne Widdecombe for Speaker (see on this blog) so I’m glad to see she’s taken the hint. (Although I doubt I really had anything to do with it). Her idea of an interim Speaker pending the election of a “post-expenses row” House of Commons also makes […]
After attending the Prime Ministers breakfast seminar in No. 10 on the future of public services my overwhelming feeling was that the government is still in thrall to the tyranny of the new. An underlying theme was that they needed something ‘new’ to offer.
The two-year-old Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has been merged with the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) to create a new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS or is it just BIS?).