Chance for change missed says InquiryThe United Kingdom’s Public Service reform plan has missed the chance for radical structure change, according to experts addressing an inquiry.
The first evidence session of the Public Administration Select Committee’s (PASC) inquiry into the future of the Public Service saw experts and academics criticise plans to reform the sector and overhaul its skills and capabilities.
Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London, Peter Hennessy said the plans announced last year were “only a fragment of the picture”.
“It needs context, background and synthesis and a proper discussion,” Lord Hennessy said.
“It has the feel of being written at speed with a great deal of frustration and anger,” he said.”
Lord Hennessy said underperformance and lack of ministerial leadership were two of the biggest problems facing the Public Service.
“It has always attracted a remarkable array of gifted people, but somehow it’s always less than the sum of its parts,” he said.
Former special adviser to the previous government and research fellow at Manchester University, Patrick Diamond said the reform plan had missed an opportunity for radical change in structures.
Mr Diamond said the Government should move beyond departmentalism and encourage greater collaboration.
“In Scotland there has been a very productive attempt to have a more outcome-focused approach,” Mr Diamond said.
He said the Public Service could have benefited from a more radical approach to change.
London, 10 January 2013
Edition 344, 15 January 2013