Category Archives: Public Management

Local Government Strategies in an Age of Austerity

by Colin R. Talbot and Carole L. Talbot[1] University of Manchester Originally published in a CIPFA/PMPA pamphlet here (April 2011). Some of the data may be slightly dated, but the thrust of the argument remains valid and even more topical as a … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Visions of Subsidiarity and the Curse of the British Political Tradition

by Martin Smith (York University), Dave Richards and Patrick Diamond (both Manchester University) There is little doubt that the previous Labour Administration and the current Coalition Government have discernibly different governing projects.  Despite a rhetorical appeal to the contrary, Labour … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 2 Comments

Top Twenty Whitehall Watch blog posts

Here’s the top twenty Whitehall Watch blog posts (so far) and the number of views. This doesn’t include numbers for posts that have been republished by Public Finance, Public Servant, LSE Policy and Politics and the Huffington Post.

Posted in Accountability, Communities, Development, Education, International, Local government, NHS, Parliament, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Riots, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Reforming the Senior Civil Service – what do you think?

The #GreatWestCoastRailShambles has raised again the issue of the competence, or otherwise, of the Senior Civil Service. Ministers are blaming the mess purely on civil servants, whilst others are pointing to a flawed policy. Without a lot more information, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 25 Comments

Targets? What targets? Change and Continuity in the performance regime in Whitehall

We were told, when the new Coalition Government came to be, that it would put an end to “New Labour targetry”. The use of targets for public sector performance had become a bête noir of both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in … Continue reading

Posted in Export, Performance, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 7 Comments

Co-Evolution of the Development of Public Administration, Democracy and Capitalism

Philipp Krause has raised some very interesting issues about the development of public finance institutions in emerging economies (which are equally applicable to wider public administration capacity development in emerging countries).

Posted in Accountability, Development, International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 1 Comment

G4S and rethinking public services: going beyond ‘one size fits all’

guest post by John Alford and Janine O’Flynn  The G4S fiasco surrounding security for the London Olympics has sparked debate about the problems of contracting out. In a new book, John Alford and Janine O’Flynn argue for a broader approach … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 2 Comments

policy@manchester launches

Public policy community comes together 12 Jul 2012 The University of Manchester has established Policy@Manchester as a network bringing together a range of academics working in a variety of public policy areas.

Posted in Accountability, International, NHS, Parliament, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

The Civil Service Reform Plan – Mostly Old Wine in Very Old, but relabelled, Bottles.

The Civil Service Reform Plan announced yesterday mostly rehashes old solutions, some sensible, others of dubious worth – but mostly renames stuff and proclaims it as if it was ‘new’. The cry of ‘cultural change’, for example, towards greater managerial … Continue reading

Posted in Performance, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 4 Comments

Surpluses, Budgets, Parliament, and Accountability Down Under (Australia): some random thoughts

I am in Australia as “Accenture-Crawford School Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Australian National University in Canberra. Many thanks to both Accenture and the excellent Crawford School of Public Policy. I’ve been doing a fascinating series of meetings, seminars and lectures … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | 1 Comment

Jeremy Hunt (DCMS) debacle raises again the issue of Civil Service Reform

This week saw an extraordinary outburst from the most recently retired Head of the Civil Service, Lord Gus O’Donnell. He said, on the BBC, “”When governments go through difficult patches you are looking for who you can blame. The issue … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 3 Comments

BT Infinity – Infinitely Unavailable?

Yesterday I got an email from BT, once again extolling the virtues of BT Infinity* and inviting me to sign up. As I am a BT customer – which is why they had my email – it wouldn’t have been … Continue reading

Posted in Political Economy, Politics, Public Management, Whitehall | 7 Comments

Saint GP. Why have GPs been elevated to special status in the health debate?

The whole NHS reform is based on an assertion – that GPs are somehow better placed to decide what NHS services need to be provided because they are in some sense ”closer to patients”. The news story today that GPs … Continue reading

Posted in NHS, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management | 9 Comments

Is the Civil Service Accountable to Parliament? Hodge vs O’Donnell spat opens a can of worms.

Is the Civil Service accountable to parliament? Margaret Hodge MP, the formidable chair of the powerful Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says “yes”. Sir (now Lord) Gus O’Donnell and other ex-Mandarins say firmly “no”. (For details see the Guardian website here). … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Parliament, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 5 Comments

Implement That

Watch out for the word “implementation” in 2012. It’s the new in-word in Whitehall.

Posted in Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall | 2 Comments

My Top Ten (most read) WhitehallWatch posts of 2011 (so far)

Posted in International, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Academy Schools Funding System Fails – quelle surprise

I have been predicting for some time that some of the big structural changes to public services are likely to destabilise the financial systems in health, education and local government. So it comes as no surprise that tens of millions … Continue reading

Posted in Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Theresa May: déjà vu all over again

[I appeared briefly on Newsnight commenting on this – the item is about 20 mins in]. A British Home Secretary faces a media firestorm over a major blunder in one of the Home Office’s Executive Agencies. A senior agency official … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Public Management, Whitehall | 1 Comment

My Big Fat Greek Government?

The Greek crisis has given neo-liberals a a great opportunity to criticize ‘big government’ Hellenic style – they see the problem as a Big Fat Greek Government (apologies to the film of nearly that name). But as usual the truth … Continue reading

Posted in International, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending | 2 Comments

The ‘Managerial Revolution’ is Over: They Won?

“Income Data Services, which totted up pay, bonuses and various share awards, says the average FTSE 100 executive director pocketed a 49 per cent rise in the last financial year to bring their remuneration to £2.7m a year. Chief executives … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 3 Comments