Non-Executive Directors: A Quiet Revolution Transforming Whitehall
There are two timeless questions which plague Governments of all parties. How can Government do more while spending less money, and how can they make the “Sir Humphrey” figures in the Civil Service do what Ministers want? For Francis Maude, the answer was simple. He turned to a group of leading business and voluntary sector figures with an interest in public service, the Government Non-Executive Directors (NEDs). Now, with little public fanfare, they have been tasked with improving efficiency across Whitehall and improving the capability of the Civil Service to deliver major projects. In order to achieve this, they have been granted new influence, including direct access to Ministers and the ability to recommend that a Permanent Secretary be removed from their job.
Insight Public Affairs has published a major report, examining the NEDs’ newly-expanded role. The report includes profiles of each of the NEDs currently serving at the heart of Government. We have also made ten recommendations to improve and enhance the role of NEDs relating to leadership, effectiveness, accountability and sustainability. The report also includes analysis from former Secretary of State Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP and Public Administration Select Committee chair, Bernard Jenkin MP.