Ministers and Mandarins : The IPPR’s 2013 Review of the Senior Civil Service: A Commentary

 by Dave Richards and Martin J. Smith[1]

In penning this review of the IPPR’s newly published report on Accountability and Responsiveness in the Senior Civil Service: Lessons from Overseas we’d like to invoke the spirit of Frankie Howard by starting with ‘The Prologue’. Continue reading

The Politics of Spending Review 2013: The ‘Star Chamber’ Phantom Menace and Turf Wars

(This is the second of a series of comments I’ll be making addressing different aspects of SR2013 over the next few days)

SR 2013 has been agreed, we are told today. And some are claiming it was all settled amicably in the end (see Benedict Brogan at the Telegraph), without even having to convene the so-called “Star Chamber” to bring the last ‘hold-outs’ (Vince Cable, Theresa May and Phillip Hammond) to heal. Continue reading

The Politics of Spending Review 2013: Why Now, Why at all?

(This is the first of a series of comments I’ll be making addressing different aspects of SR2013 over the next few days)

It is striking that not a single political commentator has even asked the question: why is the Government tearing itself apart over a one-year Spending Review that doesn’t need to happen until next year, if at all. Continue reading

In Defence of Quangos

This is the written evidence i presented to the PASC back in 2011 on the so-called cull of quangos, setting out why they are an important part of any democratic state:

IN DEFENCE OF QUANGOS

why arms-length bodies are a vital part of our democratic system of public administration and what should be done to organise them better. Continue reading

Ministers and Mandarins: Time for Change?

The IPPR report on “Accountability and Responsiveness in the Senior Civil Service: Lessons from Overseas” is a welcome contribution to a debate that has been bubbling away for some time now about the fundamental relationship between Ministers and Mandarins in Whitehall. I’m not going to go through the whole report, but just give my reaction to their main recommendations: Continue reading