Tag Archives: government

Parliament and Public Spending – interesting letter

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. Advertisements

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Democracy Demands: Show Us The Money!

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Public Spending in the UK: Public Sector Debt

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 … Continue reading

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Breakfast with Brown: What Should The Government Do?

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 … Continue reading

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Blears: Joined-Up Jargon Queen Quits Government

Hazel Blears, Communities and Local Government Secretary in the Labour Government has announced her decision to leave the government on the eve of local government elections in England, in what is being widely seen as direct attack on PM Gordon … Continue reading

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Expenses Gate III: Hysteria, Humbug and Hypocrisy

Confession: within 30 seconds of hearing about David Willett’s expenses claim for changing light-bulbs I’d cracked the inevitable “how many Conservative MPs does it take to change a light-bulb…” joke to my long-suffering partner.

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Budget 09 – What Would the Tories Do?

While everyone focuses on the Governments plans as set out in Budget 09, let’s pause for a moment and consider the Tories options.

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The Art of Public Strategy – Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan’s new book on ‘The Art of Public Strategy’ is an riveting read, fizzing with insights and ideas. Mulgan played a big role in the Blair government, as a policy adviser and Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. … Continue reading

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The Invisible Hand’s Shadow

The shadow economy as an issue for public policy and public administration is something I have been banging on about for several years (see A False Economy, Public Finance, 2004). I recently tried to raise the issue at both the … Continue reading

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New EU concept paper on Public Service Reform

A very useful new ‘concept paper‘ has just been published by the European Commission, authored mainly by UK professor Norman Flynn. Aimed at the development community, it will nevertheless be of interest to all scholars and practitioners of public management.

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Whitehall inefficiency a thing of the past?

After the government allegedly exceeded its own target to save £21.5bn from its last efficiency drive – the ‘Gershon’ programme 2004-7 – and actually save £26bn, you would think there is little left for the National Audit Office to do. … Continue reading

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Efficiency savings urged to ease pain of cuts

from the FT – By Nicholas Timmins Published: March 10 2009 00:39 | Last updated: March 10 2009 00:39

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Modernising Government Mk II: ‘Working Together’

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 … Continue reading

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Gizza Job? Jobcentres Plus stitched up by Minister.

“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 … Continue reading

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Government bails out “Private” Finance Initiative

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 … Continue reading

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Government Learning – an oxymoron?

A new NAO Report – Helping Government Learn – sets out to encourage better policies and practice for ‘organisational learning’ in government.

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Public Value – the next ‘Big Thing’ in public management?

Are we about to enter a new era of public management? There are good reasons to think that this may be the case.

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Hard Times for Public Services

Whoever is in power at Westminster, public services are facing hard times over the next few years.

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The Art of Performance

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 … Continue reading

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