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Ten questions for Whitehall’s top officials

The competence and purpose of the civil service is under scrutiny

By Peter Riddell   November 2013

Jeremy Heywood and Bob Kerslake have been in charge as Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service for nearly two years now. A lot has been achieved, in cutting staff numbers, seeking to remedy weaknesses in the handling of major projects, procurement and commissioning, and in making the government more digitally advanced in its relations with the public.

But the overall picture is patchy. The Civil Service Reform Plan of June 2012 set some ambitious goals but, as Kerslake and the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in their introduction to the One Year On report in July this…

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