Turnbull tightens his grip on Whitehall

27 Jun 02
Incoming Cabinet secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull has outlined a reformed structure for the Cabinet Office that dissolves the multitude of units set up after the last election.

28 June 2002

Turnbull, who takes over from Sir Richard Wilson in September, will set up a single team responsible for overseeing the 'reform and delivery of better public services', whose members will report directly to him.

The patchwork of teams and units within the department set up last year, such as the Performance and Innovation Unit, headed by Geoff Mulgan, the Delivery Unit, run by Michael Barber, and the Office of Public Service Reform, led by Wendy Thomson, will be swept away.

Instead, the different areas of responsibility will be unified within a single, integrated structure. Turnbull's senior management team will comprise the existing unit heads. Mulgan will take care of strategy; Barber will take charge of delivery and performance; and Thomson will oversee public service reform.

E-envoy Andrew Pinder will focus on 'e-transformation' and the better use of information and communications technology. Alice Perkins, currently in charge of civil service corporate management, will take charge of corporate development and human resources.

The reformed Cabinet Office will focus on four principal objectives: supporting the prime minister in leading the government; supporting the government in transacting its business; leading the programme of reform and delivery; and co-ordinating security and intelligence.

Turnbull, who presented his reforms in a paper to the civil service management board, which is made up of departmental permanent secretaries, said the reform process had already begun under his predecessor but now needed to go further.

He pledged to recruit more talented outsiders at all levels of the civil service who could bring with them 'the skills and experience we do not have ourselves', in an effort to make Whitehall more diverse.

'We are focusing on outcomes and rewarding people for delivery. As a result, our performance is improving, and there are exciting developments in the way we deliver services ourselves and through our partners. But we know that we need to take these changes further and have an appetite to do so,' Turnbull said.


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