Ex-council chief to lead Whitehall reform
By Mark Smulian | 12 September 2012
Former Kent County Council chief executive Katherine Kerswell has joined the Cabinet Office as director general for civil service reform to take forward the government’s plans for Whitehall.
Kerswell, who will be paid £142,000 a year, was appointed following an external competition.
The Civil Service Reform Plan, published in June
, proposed a series of changes to the Whitehall machine, including more rigorous appraisal of staff. The bottom-performing 10% of senior civil servants will be identified and face leaving the service if their performance doesn’t improve.
Civil service head Sir Bob Kerslake told Public Finance
that the plan would help the civil service ‘meet the challenges that we face now and in the future’.
Welcoming Kerswell’s appointment, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: ‘The Civil Service Reform Plan set out our first steps to reform to ensure it can effectively serve the government of the day.
‘We have a long way still to go to sharpen accountability, collect consistent management information and improve how government runs its major projects. Katherine brings experience and expertise to this crucial role.’
Maude said he hoped eventually to see a civil service that was ‘flatter, faster, more digital, more unified, with better capabilities and performance management, focused on outcomes not process, with modern terms and conditions, and which is more enjoyable to work for’.
Kerswell left Kent last year after its leader Paul Carter decided to dispense with the role of chief executive and work directly with senior staff himself.
Before then she was consecutively chief executive of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and of Northamptonshire County Council.