Monday 6 August 2012

The whiff of cordite in Whitehall 2

They spend about £700 billion of our money every year, much of it wasted. Whitehall's mandarins exercise the prerogatives previously reserved to Stuart kings. Their harlot power is jealously guarded, while all responsibility is taken by more or less hapless ministers. Challenges come and go. They're usually seen off, the politicians give up and we the public carry on paying.

You may as well know that the whiff is back, there is once again cordite in Whitehall. Francis Maude thinks that if ministers are to take responsibility, then they really ought to have some say in which officials manage the political initiatives and the associated budgets. The Guardian has the story – Ministers to be given say in civil service appraisals. So does Public Servant magazine – Ministers are to manage the Civil Service:
Maude's preference now is that ministers be involved in Civil Service appraisals and be given powers to hire and fire staff. And expert advice on how to ensure maximum efficiency should be sought from beyond Britain's shores if necessary.
Francis Maude v. the massed ranks of the senior civil service?

Good luck, Mr Maude.

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