Roundtable discussion with Sir Jeremy Heywood

Roundtable discussion with Sir Jeremy Heywood
December 07 2015

The Autumn Spending Review published on 25 November was the fifteenth of Sir Jeremy Heywood’s career and he described it as one of the smoothest, but also one of the toughest to date. On top of the 40% of cuts to public services implemented during the coalition government, this parliament is expected to find a further 20% of efficiency savings. This ‘formidable challenge’ requires not just spending cuts but transformational change across the civil service.

This seminar with Sir Jeremy was an opportunity for members to hear more about his priorities for reform to improve the productivity and efficiency of the civil service. These areas include improving commercial capability, widening and diversifying talent and investing in digital transformation. He also invited members to give their feedback on these areas and discuss any future opportunities for reform.

Some of these themes included:

 The high turnover of staff in the civil service.
 The level of monitoring and controls from central government, which has can sometimes hinder Chairs’ abilities to work quickly and efficiently.
 The length of the public appointments process.
 The need for a more collaborative relationship between policy and delivery teams.
 Contract management and ensuring the right people and resources are available to deliver transformational reform.
 The lengthy, complicated and inconsistent triennial review process.

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