Civil Service Reform – Hidden Dangers?

Posted on: September 6th, 2013

This report, published today warns that some aspects of the Government’s proposals for civil service reform could substantially weaken the role of the civil service in helping to ensure government acts at all times with propriety, so that the resources of the state are not misused for personal or political advantage.

The BGI does not believe that the civil service should be immune from criticism. We have our own ideas to offer on where the civil service can and must do better. But some of the changes being championed could have far-reaching, undesirable consequences.

Successive administrations have recognised that the civil service as an institution does not simply belong to the government of the day. A more careful analysis is needed of the risks involved to the role of the civil service in our constitutional context. If major changes are contemplated they should be addressed on a cross-party basis through Parliament, as recommended in yesterday’s report by the Public Administration Select Committee, or another inquiry process.