Government Reimagined

May 24, 2021

A Handbook for Reform

Findings from the Policy Exchange Reform of Government Commission, Chaired by Dame Patricia Hodgson

Policy Exchange has convened a distinguished Reform of Government Commission, chaired by Dame Patricia Hodgson DBE, to determine how government can be modernised and equipped for the modern world. Each Commissioner brought their particular expertise and experience to the Commission’s discussions, and this report reflects a broad consensus of views on how to improve the capacity and capabilities of government. The Commission took both informal and formal evidence from a range of figures from academia, politics, business, arms-length-bodies and the Civil Service to inform its work.

Reform of Government Commission

I am delighted to welcome Policy Exchange’s Reform of Government Commission report as an important contribution to this crucial debate. If we are to face the blizzard of future technological, environmental, and economic challenges and changes, we must embark on a reform and modernisation programme so that government serves the public better.

Covering a wide range from the history of Civil Service reform to the Sisyphean challenge of upgrading our digital and data infrastructure, this report is a valuable guide to modernisation of government. As this report argues, Ministers and officials will ensure the promotion of the most capable Civil Servants, with promotion based on talent rather than time served. This will help us to level up opportunity and build back better after the pandemic.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

This is an authoritative and timely report. Crucially, the Commission addressed governance as a whole, encompassing both the political and professional elements of public service. In considering their recommendations, central, devolved and local governments should likewise maintain a comprehensive perspective.

Lord Sedwill of Sherborne

Former Cabinet Secretary

This is not another report setting out the problems; the Commission has grasped the big questions on civil service reform with a really constructive set of proposals.

Dame Sue Owen

Former Permanent Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

This report is both a timely and well-researched contribution to the ongoing debate about the reform of the Civil Service and, therefore, the efficiency, effectiveness and modernisation of government.

Lord Blunkett

Former Home Secretary

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RT @ed_birkett ICYMI: Last week, I spoke to the co-chairs of @Policy_Exchange COP26 programme and former Energy Secretaries @andrealeadsom and @AmberRuddUK. We talked about our new COP programme and reflections from their time in office 👇 Also available as a podcast. youtube.com/watch?v=…