Thursday, 23 October 2008

Joined up Government?

Posted on the Bevan Foundation blog on 23 October

The Assembly Government have announced, via the jobs pages of the Western Mail, a major re-organisation at the Senior level of the Civil Service.

A new layer of thematic departments are to be created: Sustainable Futures; Public Services and Local Government Delivery; People, Places and Corporate Services; and Finance.

Each gets a new Director General, seemingly in addition to existing heads of department, at a salary of 'circa' £130,000.

The new structure is the brainchild of the new Permanent Secretary, Dame Gill Morgan.

It is in principle a good idea to try and take advantage of the intimacy of Government in a small nation. But it still leaves challenges, not least in terms of culture.

I'm personally pleased to see sustainability as a theme. There is some sense in putting the environment, housing, sustainable development, rural affairs, heritage and tourism all brought under one Director General. But transport - which contributes a quarter of all our carbon emission - is still separate.

These changes will do nothing in themselves to alter the paradox of one Government department planning to implement overall cuts in Welsh carbon emissions by at least 3% every year from 2011, and another planning a programme of road building which will lock in increases to emissions.

Today's announcement is a welcome step towards better co-ordination, but it is no panacea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have no problem in paying good people who produce the goods their market value.Wales can only benefit.
What does concern me is after extensive advertising for example for one of the posts you named , for a world class candidate , that we ended up with the person who was in the interim post and judged as not up to being appointed on a permanent basis.
Now either the HR process was inefficent, or it was a done job anyway.
I think that since the merger , the fact that there have been no redundancies, and that there are still people from that merger not in jobs but being paid is amazing.
Putting another layer of strategic management is not the answer , the whole set up needs a review and an overhaul. If it does turn out that this is another lot of promotions from within, then we need to ask why these people werent doing their own jobs in the first place, if they were, we wouldnt need this additional layer.