The Week

The Week, 12 April 2019

Reformer of the week

John Manzoni, who explained to Reform this morning his various ideas to create a more confident, decisive and productive Civil Service.


“The digital transformation of public services continues apace. There are now around 800 services available digitally to users: from the high-volume services, like the vehicle tax checks by individuals, which attract literally hundreds of millions of transactions a year; and the multi-million State Pension claims and passport applications, right down to the few score import licence applications for pets and rare birds.”

John Manzoni, speaking for Reform today

“Diversity is at record levels: 53.9 per cent of civil servants are women; 12 per cent are from ethnic minorities; and 10 per cent have a disability …  but we need to do more to hit our ambition of being the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020.”

John Manzoni

Good week for

Debates on “austerity”

In a letter to the Treasury Select Committee, the Chancellor said it would be “odd” to define “ending austerity” as meaning that every government department would see an annual real terms spending increase.

The future of the Civil Service

Speaking for Reform, John Manzoni argued that “smarter working” – i.e. better use of space, technology and an empowered, diverse workforce – would encourage recruitment to the Civil Service.

Bad week for

Traditional politics.

In a personal manifesto, Chuka Umunna MP called for the introduction of proportional representation, a permanent move of the House of Commons into a horseshoe-shaped chamber, and the introduction of an elected House of Lords.

Opponents of prison reform.

An Economist review highlighted American states which have successfully reduced prison populations, such as Connecticut, partly by reducing sentencing.

Reform’s week

Reform held major events on the forthcoming Spending Review and on smarter working within in the Civil Service, in partnership with Deloitte and BT respectively.

Rose Lasko-Skinner continued coverage of Reform’s recent research on outsourcing via an article in CityAM.