Institute for Government Annual Report and Accounts

5th April 2009

FOREWORD By Lord David Sainsbury of Turville, Founder of the Institute and Chair of Governors The mission of the Institute For Government is simply to work with politicians and civil servants to improve the machinery and working of Government so that it can meet today’s challenges......The Institute is working closely with the Civil Service, and we are particularly pleased by the active support that we have received from the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell....We are also working with all three main political parties and are delighted with their enthusiastic involvement in our agenda. The Institute already has a full programme of activities, among them Peter Riddell and Catherine Haddon’s work on transitions between governments, in which they are studying what has made for successful transitions in the past and drawing practical lessons on how to prepare better for future changes of government.... Introduction By Sir Michael Bichard ...Our ambition is to help make Government in this country more effective by commissioning research, by providing learning and development opportunities for all senior decision makers and by offering advice and support where requested. We are an independent, non-aligned charity able to work with all political parties as well as the Senior Civil Service.......we have established strong working relationships with all the major political parties, and with the most senior level of civil service.......In the period before the next election in 2010, we shall be publishing a wide range of important reports on the issues which matter most to the next Government..... The Objects of the Charity The Institute for Government’s charitable objects are: “The advancement of education in the art and science of government in the UK for the benefit of the public on a non-party political basis, and The promotion of efficient administration of government and public service in the UK by providing programmes of education, training, research and study for the public benefit on a non-party political basis.” Background The Institute for Government (“the Institute”) is an independent charity. We work with all the main political parties in Westminster and with senior civil servants in Whitehall, providing evidence based advice that draws on best practice from around the world..... Principal Activities of the Charity Research ...we have already conducted and published our first major report, agreed our early research priorities with Governors and embarked on a range of ambitious projects that we expect to complete through the course of 2009. Our first research report – Performance Art – was published in December 2008...aimed at ...improving ‘joined up’ service delivery across different arms of government.....

In the wake of the Performance Art project, three major research themes for the Institute were identified. These were    the Whitehall of the future The role of the State Topical subjects on governance

From early 2009, research began in earnest on two major projects. The first of these corresponded to the first of our themes, and has been loosely titled ‘Reshaping the Centre’. This project is analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the Whitehall ‘machine’ and the Civil Service seen in an international perspective, as well as examining specific issues such as the division of responsibility between the centre and Departments.....The second major project, loosely called the ‘Fiscal Squeeze’....Other projects begun early in 2009 include work and seminars on Non-Departmental Government Bodies (NDGB’s); minority Government.... Learning and Development Central to the Institute’s objectives is the need for it to play a proactive and innovative role in the development of the most senior policy makers in the UK including politicians and senior civil servants, in particular the Top 200.....build on the development of offerings for the opposition parties and for serving ministers....We have commenced a series of breakfast briefing sessions for the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Shadow Ministers and plan to continue this over the next few months. The Institute was also invited to evaluate the Ministry of Justice’s Transformation programme. By providing independent assessment and challenge, the Institute will be able to provide the Ministry with a better understanding of how transformation is progressing, thus enabling better decision making.... Future Plans Research:    Completion of the research themes arising out of the Performance Art research project, Reshaping the Centre, Fiscal Squeeze and Transitions; how governments have handled transitions of power in local and central government. Completion of research and seminars on NDPB’s *Non Departmental Public Bodies] and a case study on a major government department. Minority Government lessons and implications from the conduct of minority government in the UK nations and overseas.

Learning and Development:      Continuation of the breakfast briefing sessions for Conservative and Liberal Democrat Shadow Ministers Ministerial Development Programme Work with the top 200 Civil Servants Ministry of Justice –Transformation programme evaluation and service design, Problem solving work with NDPBs.

Achievement of Public Benefit ...Together, these reports and the events arising out of the reports will provide a robust evidence base on the governance of the UK, thereby equipping the public with knowledge and information on the issues affecting the governing of the UK and the training of its current and future ministers.

5th April 2010 Foreword By Lord David Sainsbury of Turville, Founder of the Institute and Chair of the Governors The mission of the Institute For Government is to work with politicians and civil servants to improve and machinery and working of Government to meet the needs and challenges of today. We have continued to enjoy the active support of Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, and all three main political parties in our first full year of work. Some of our work this year was particularly timely: Peter Riddell and Catherine Haddon’s report on Transitions was predictably well received. It also set an excellent pattern of rigorous thought, cross-party engagement with politicians and civil servants in reaching its conclusions, and influential dissemination. Less predictably, Robert Hazell and Akash Paun's report on Making Minority Government work and its discussion of minority and coalition governments was immediately useful. Our seminars on fiscal consolidation, including international comparisons with Canada and Sweden, brought good and influential new material to the debate on how to make budgetary cuts while improving efficiency. We also developed what will be long term and continuing themes of the Institute on the workings of Whitehall and its departments in the report on Shaping Up, led by Simon Parker and in continuing work on quangos - non-departmental and arm's length public bodies. Meanwhile, in addition to programmes for senior ministers in the existing Labour government, Zoe Gruhn put together well-received breakfast briefings for shadow Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers – who are now, or course, in a position to put them into practice....

Introduction By Lord Bichard ...As an independent, non-aligned charity we were able to work closely with all three major parties in the run up to the election and produced influential research reports on issues as diverse as managing fiscal consolidation; reforming the centre of government, handling the transition from one administration to another and the implications of a coalition government. The last of these was widely quoted and drawn upon as the coalition became a reality....We shall now be offering many more structured programmes to politicians and thereby hoping, for example, to support the many Ministers who have not had previous Government experience.... Principal Activities of the Charity ...The year....culminated (just after the financial year end) in the election and formation of Britain’s first coalition government in a generation.... Research As mentioned in last year's report, three major early research themes for the Institute were:    the Whitehall of the future The role of the State Topical subjects on governance

An early and high profile success of the year was a series of seminars on the subject of fiscal consolidation ....lower profile seminars in the same series, including on Sweden, on Britain’s own history of previous fiscal consolidations, and on other countries experiences of creating independent bodies to monitor the state of public finances all proved extremely educational and helpful to the UK’s policy-making community and to key commentators in the press... A second major output was the publication of the report, Shaping Up....It examined subjects such as the appropriate role of the centre versus departments......A third output was the publication of a report on Transitions, by Peter Riddell and Catherine Haddon. This timely report documented previous major political transitions in British government including 1997,1979 and 1974, as well as those in local government and other comparable countries....

The report powerfully informed our ongoing development work with the Opposition and civil service in the run-up to the 2010 election....A number of its recommendations ...were subsequently adopted into government policy and revised constitutional practice. A close complement to the Transitions work was a report on Making Minority Government work, by Robert Hazell and Akash Paun. Though regarded by many as a rather obscure topic when first commissioned, by the time of its publication it proved to be an extremely prescient and important document. Whitehall, the public, and even political parties where highly unprepared for the many challenges and differences that could be thrown up by advent of a coalition or minority government. The report and supporting activities by the Institute (in partnership with the Constitution Unit) led directly to the establishment and publication of the Cabinet Manual by the Cabinet Secretary in the run-up to the election. Needless to say, post-election the impact was even greater. Other research activities.....included subjects such as on government ICT; arm-length bodies (‘quangos’); behaviour change; social exclusion (as a case study in the challenges of silo-based government): government and the media; and the orchestration of national security and foreign policy. Themes for the coming year were agreed with Governors to include:      The policy-making process Managing the civil service Wider government decentralization and outsourcing Ministers and civil servants (including background research to support our learning and development activities for senior public servants) Contemporary issues....

In sum, it was a remarkable year, with several of the Institute's early publications proving timely...As one prominent public commentator put it, in relation to our research and educational activities in the long run-up to the 2010 election: ‘I don't know what we would have done without the Institute'.... LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT ...Breakfast briefing sessions were..held with Shadow Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers as preparation for Government covering areas such as Government communications, the access process in Whitehall, being an effective minister, working with the Centre, from strategy to delivery. Private Office logistics, role and effectiveness of SpAds, [Special Advisors]EU and its workings and transformation and change in organisation – private and public sector perspectives. ...The Institute was invited by the Ministry for Justice to evaluate the design phase of its major transformation programme, Transforming Justice... A number of forums have been developed across Whitehall and wider which includes CEOs of NDPBs [Non Departmental Government Bodies], Change Directors, members of the Senior Civil Service and Fast Streamers to discuss common challenges and issues informing debates through our research and access to a wide range of subject matter experts. Future Plans The outcome of the General Election, the formation of the Coalition Government and the election of a high proportion of MPs new to Parliament present significant opportunities for the Institute. Throughout 2010-2011 a major work programme will be pursued, building upon ongoing learning and development activity, to reflect and meet the needs of the new political landscape. Key elements of this programme will include:     Induction events for new MPs in conjunction with the Hansard Society Programmes for Special Advisers. Research into the role and effectiveness of SpAds [Special Advisors] Research into the role and requirements of Secretaries of State in their early period of Office. Separate programmes for Secretaries of State and for non-cabinet Ministers which will be highly flexible in timing and content Events for newly appointed Select Committee members

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A programme for aspiring ministers who are newly elected MPs across all Parties. A programme of activity including further research, on departmental Boards and how their effectiveness can be improved. Research led by Senior Fellow Peter Riddell and Director of Learning Zoe Gruhn into Ministerial effectiveness and the implications for future ministerial development.....

Achievement of Public Benefit The Institute has produced high-quality research reports and analysis that are independent of government, political parties, individual clients or companies.... these reports ..... will provide a robust evidence base on the governance of the UK, thereby equipping the public with knowledge and information on the issues affecting the governing of the UK and the training of its current and future ministers.... 31st March 2011

Foreword By Lord David Sainsbury of Turville, Founder of the Institute and Chair of Governors ...We continue to have the active support of the Cabinet Secretary and of all three parties, as much now under the Coalition as before under a Labour government, and combine work with all of them....

Introduction By Lord Adonis The Institute for Government won Prospect Magazine's 2010 Think Tank of the Year Award, a remarkable achievement in barely two years of existence. The judges described the Institute as “indispensable,” praising its work on hung parliaments, the coalition, and financial consolidation. Chair of the judging panel, Ben Rogers said, “Just think of the role that the Institute for Government... played in preparing the ground for a hung parliament and enabling the creation of a coalition government.” ... We have significant programmes of work on civil service reform, policy-making, ministerial and opposition effectiveness, elected mayors for England’s major cities outside London, IT in government, parliamentary accountability, and various aspects of constitutional reform. We are also analysing the nature and consequences of coalition government, a peacetime novelty for modern Britain. In all these respects we are a much a “do” tank as a “think” tank. As an independent charity, we have no partisan axe to grind and exist purely to promote better government. It is a mission never short of worthwhile projects..... Principal Activities of the Charity  A more effective Whitehall. This theme covers the respective roles of ministers and civil servants, the management of the civil service and the roles of the centre and departments.  New models of governance and public services. This theme covers the functioning of arm's length government, the governance necessary for effective localism and emerging models for managing public services.  Better policy making. This theme covers the core work of Whitehall in developing policy and new additions to the policy maker's tool kit.  Leadership for government. This theme covers leadership development for ministers, special advisers and potential ministers, and on-going development support for the SCS.  Parliament and the political process. This theme covers the overall political scrutiny of Government and the arena from which the next generation of ministers emerge....

A more effective Whitehall The Institute has been working with the Ministry of Justice throughout 2010-11 on its major change programme Transforming Justice....Further departments have now asked the Institute to provide them with similar support. The research has also given the Institute a unique understanding of transformation in the civil service, which the Public Administration Select Committee (“PASC”)has been keen to tap into as part of their inquiry into good governance and civil service reform. The lnstitute provided evidence to the enquiry, one of our researchers acted as the committee's specialist adviser, and one of our blogs substantially shaped the way that PASC conducted its hearing with Francis Maude and Gus O'Donnell.... In early 2011, the Improving Government IT project published its final report, System Error: fixing the flaws in government IT following an innovative 9 month research project. This involved close working with key stakeholders and decision makers. This ensured that the report's recommendations had an enthusiastic reception. lan Watmore, the Government Chief Operating Officer described the report as “first class”. This view was echoed by Joe Harley, the Government Chief Information Officer who said “I find the report very helpful. The approach to platform and agile is useful and constructive...we are always looking for ways to improve and this report has a number of very useful recommendations for us to consider as we formulate our ICT Strategy. I look forward to working with the Institute in the future.” Mark O’Neill, Chief Information Officer at two government departments and leader of the crossgovernment ‘Skunkworks’, said he planned to adopt many of the recommendations immediately and “try and make them part of his organisation’s DNA.” As a result of our work our Senior Fellow, Sir Ian Magee, was invited to give evidence to the PASC Inquiry into government IT and the lnstitute has been asked to advise on the select committee's final report. The report has also been welcomed by the wider IT community.... Our recommendations were widely covered by the BBC, Guardian, Financial Times as well as specialist press such as Public Finance, Computer Weekly and Computer World. Our paper The State of Commissioning was intended as a first step into the area of public sector markets.... New models of governance and public services Improvement in arms length government is one of the lnstitute's main issues, and we have returned to this topic throughout the year. In July, Read Before Burning, our account of how the new government should deal with Arm's Length Bodies (“ALBs”), had immediate pick up in government and Parliament.... Our first recommendation was that the Public Administration Select Committee (“PASC”) should scrutinise any new proposals for an ALB - and this recommendation was accepted by Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, in evidence to the PASC the week after our report was published. The PASC inquiry on public bodies sought evidence from the lnstitute and its report picked up a range of our conclusions including the need for a simplier taxonomy of public bodies. Our briefing note on the government's public bodies bill, and in particular the problems of Schedule 7, which failed to understand the need for independence of a number of key public bodies was widely cited in the Lords debate; the government ultimately withdrew this schedule in the Lords... Over 2010-11, the Institute was one of the leading commentators on the implications of the Big Society agenda for government. We have presented our work from a wide range of government departments including No 10, Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, the Department for Communities & Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We have also provided speakers for a number of external conferences to discuss and debate the Big Society. We also continue to work closely with the Cabinet Office on the role of the Big Society Bank, the mutualisation agenda and the implications of the Big Society for policymakers.

Better policy making The Institute's key recommendations on how behavioural insights could be captured within the policy process were set out in our MINDSPACE report, which was prepared jointly with Cabinet office. This remains our most down loaded report in 2010 and we have repeated requests to present on it to government and non-government audiences. The report's methodology has been

adopted across departments and is being used as the framework for the new 'behavioural insight team' based in No 10.... Leadership for Government Following the General Election, the formation of the Coalition and the election of a high proportion of MPs new to Parliament presented significant opportunities for the Institute.... We wrote and published three guides: Taking the Helm, Oiling the Machine and Hello Minister. These were aimed at enabling Cabinet Ministers to secure early effectiveness after taking office, helping Special Advisers to occupy their roles quickly and effectively and assisting Private Offices in meeting the needs of new ministers. In parallel, we undertook induction sessions for all three groups. Six months into the new government, we hosted a session for ministers in collaboration with the Minister for the Cabinet Office which enabled participants to reflect on progress to date and to hear about centrally run change programmed.... The report argued that more needed to be done to prepare less experienced people for their roles as ministers and that they have the opportunity to develop further after they have taken up their posts. This was backed up by a number of specific recommendations aimed at helping improve ministerial effectiveness. These included limiting reshuffles, having better mechanisms to prepare individuals for ministerial roles, better preparation of Opposition shadow teams for office, allocating ministerial portfolios more objectively, introducing performance reviews for ministers and widening the pool from which ministers are drawn. The outcomes of the research have led to the creation of a toolkit for ministers which is currently being trialled. There is an ongoing dialogue with ministers around the reports' themes. The Institute has been proactively engaged in the work on the transformation of Whitehall Boards working with lead non-executive directors. We have undertaken research into the behaviours of Public Sector Boards and what was needed to ensure that the newly refocused Boards secured maximum effectiveness. The programme of activity continues.... Work has commenced to review the functioning of the Opposition in holding the government to account and preparing to be a future government, including policy making, leadership and development..... Parliament and the political process Our work on minority and coalition government influenced important actors both before and after polling day. Our main recommendations were set out in the report Making Minority Government Work, which former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull said was a “remarkable [report]in the depth of its insights and in its timeliness”. The central message was that a hung parliament need not cause serious problems so long as there was understanding of basic constitutional conventions about how a government is formed and who is in charge during the transition process. The Institute worked with media commentators, leading to these themes were picked up widely in the immediate post election coverage. Our recommendation that the UK should develop a Cabinet Manual (drawing on the New Zealand Model studied in the report) was subsequently accepted by the Cabinet Secretary..... Following the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2010, the Institute continued its pre-election research into the implications of a hung parliament, studying the operation of the coalition in its first few months. Between May and July, we organised a series of seminars with UK and international speakers looking at different aspects of coalition government such as the role of the civil service, the politicians' perspective and the impact on parliament. In September we followed up with a short report United We Stand? Coalition government in the UK. This explored the nature of the governance challenges facing the coalition and made some recommendations for change. Our proposals were picked up in various media. We also presented the findings directly to the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials. Subsequently, a number of our recommendations have been taken up, including that there should be a stronger private office and dedicated website for the Deputy Prime Minister and a review of the Programme for Government.

The Institute's work on the role of Parliament in the public appointments process culminated in a report published in March 2011, in which we set out a package of recommendations for reform. The report was launched at an event at which Andrew Tyrie, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, endorsed a number of the themes of the Institute's report (following close collaboration between the Institute and Mr Tyrie beforehand).The respondent, Jack Straw, was equally supportive. The report received considerable media coverage, including on the Today Programme, BBC Parliament, the Financial Times and the Guardian. A year on from the MPs’ expenses crisis, the Institute published an assessment of the state of the House of Commons administration. Future Plans ...looking at new models of governance and delivering public services... Achievement of Public Benefit The Institute has produced high-quality research reports and analysis that are independent of government, political parties, individual clients or companies..... the reports will, provide..evidence...equipping the public with knowledge and information on ...the training of its current and future ministers.

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