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Friday 20 December 2019

Penman for Huff Post: Ministers must hear the advice they need, not just the advice they want

Boris-Johnson-24-July-847
Michael Tubi / Shutterstock.com

Responding to reports that Boris Johnson was planning a “revolutionary” reform of the civil service, FDA General Secretary has written for Huff Post warning the Prime Minister that if he wants to lead “a transformative government” then ministers must hear “the advice they need, not just the advice they want”. 

In the blog, Penman write: “Every new prime minister (particularly those keen to demonstrate they have a radical reforming agenda) looks upon “the machine” of government - the civil service - with its dozens of departments, hundreds of quangos and thousands of civil servants and thinks that it’s ripe for reform. 

“When you want to show that you’re doing something, changing the machinery of government – usually merging or abolishing departments – is sorely tempting, not least because as prime minister it can be achieved at the stroke of a pen. 

“However, actually doing something to tackle the big public policy challenges of our generation is, of course, a little more complicated. Clarity of purpose and robust evidence-based policy is what changes people’s lives, but that’s a lot slower.” 

Read the full blog on Huff Post UK

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