The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Peter Thomas of Institute for Government provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Reform is only a means to an end—changes to the structures and process of the Civil Service in order to get it to run better.
The rationale for reform is as consistent as the reform initiatives are frequent. All major reforms over the last 40 years address one or more of six themes:
efficiency and performance
size, structures, functions
delivery and customers
markets and new business models
staffing, skills and capability
There are some clear trends over the 40 years:
less faith in big structural reforms such as expanding departments, adding or taking away functions
much greater focus on customers and citizens
increased use of markets and privatisation. The UK is an international outlier in its use of the private sector and alternative business models
new thinking about whole systems and business models
The patterns of action within these reform themes are not smooth. Difficult to manage transitions, such as changes in officials, ministers and governments, are a regular occurrence.
Nonetheless the UK Civil Service has been transformed over 40 years. A number of key reforms introduced beneficial changes that survived the rise and fall of the leaders, teams, structures and programmes that made up the reform itself:
a stronger sense of personal responsibility and accountability for delivery—whether of policies, projects, programmes or services
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