Leadership of Change: New Arrangements for the Roles of the Head of the Civil Service and the Cabinet Secretary, Nineteenth Report of Session 2010-12, Report and Appendix, Together with Formal Minutes and Oral and Written Evidence - House of Commons Papers (Paperback)

by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Public Administration Select Committee, Bernard Jenkin

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The new arrangements implemented at the top of the Civil Service on the retirement of Sir Gus O'Donnell could lead to weaker leadership and disperse power at a critical time of change in government and that they will not succeed unless ministers, and particularly the Prime Minister, accords the two roles - Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service - equal power and status. There is a risk that the Cabinet Secretary will be "top dog", and the Head of the Civil service will be relegated to a subservient role rendering him ineffective. The report makes public for the first time an organisation chart of the new arrangements. The key findings are: doubts whether the new Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, will be able to fulfil all the duties set out in his lengthy job description in the two days per week allocated to the post, while also acting as Permanent Secretary in a major department of state; Sir Bob must have the seniority and the ear of the Prime Minister in order to fulfil his role and parity of status with the Cabinet Secretary; he must attend Cabinet regularly on the same basis as the Cabinet Secretary; PASC recommends a full-time Head of the Civil Service who should also be Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office, overseeing a stronger centre of government able to implement change across Whitehall; the Government should conduct a full of review these changes in July 2012.

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