Back in 1999 ‘Modernising Government’ was finally published. After nearly two years gestation the general verdict was that it was indeed an elephant – huge, sprawling and ungainly. Everything including the kitchen-sink had been thrown into the lengthy, turgid and mind-numbingly boring document. Well, now we have Modernising Government II – or ‘Working Together: Public […]
“Gizza job”, those with long-enough memories will recall, was the catch phrase of the central character- Yosser Hughes – in Alan Bleasedale’s very dark BBC TV comedy ‘The Boys from the Blackstuff’ which aired in the middle of another big recession (1982).
The old joke that consultants borrow your watch and then charge you if you want to be told the time has finally come true. The UK Treasury has announced it will step in to provide the finance for £8bn worth of PFI (private finance initiative) deals this year, as other sources of finance dry up […]
A new NAO Report – Helping Government Learn – sets out to encourage better policies and practice for ‘organisational learning’ in government.
Are we about to enter a new era of public management? There are good reasons to think that this may be the case.
Whoever is in power at Westminster, public services are facing hard times over the next few years.
The major first report by the UK’s latest ‘think tank’, the Institute for Government led by well-known and outspoken former Permanent Secretary Sir Michael Bichard, bodes well for the future of the new body. It is a serious, measured and balanced account of many of the achievements and problems experienced in the UK.
Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the UK civil service, in a recent speech outlined why he thought the British civil service would perform well in the current financial and economic crisis. In an article – “Mandarin-tinted glasses” – published in Public Finance magazine, I ask questions just how well Whitehall is really doing – based on […]
Recently a baby under the protection of social services was abused and killed. It was not the first and will not be the last, but the fact that “Baby P” was visited 60 times by social workers charged with his protection whilst the abuse was going on has caused a scandal.