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Top of the class Department for International Development Ministry of Justice Department for Work and Pensions Department for Communities and Local Government Department of Energy and Climate Change Foreign Office Department for Transport Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department of Health Cabinet Office Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Home Office Department for Education HM Treasury 98% 92% 92% 85% 83% 79% 76% 72% 71% 69% 68% 68% 64% 63%
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Department for International Development Score: 98% Teacher‟s pet DfID has made pleasing progress this year, though it will need to maintain its high standards if it wants to achieve all of its ambitions. Some pieces of work have showed promise – such as the Malaria and the Reproductive and Maternal Health Evidence Papers and Business Plans – and it has an impressive actions completion rate. With the next twelve months bringing the launch of the International Citizen Service programme, and the establishment of the Advocacy Fund, DFID‟s dedication will be required. Ministry Of Justice Score: 92% Despite a tough year for Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, who survived numerous media storms and was forced to abandon plans for 50% sentence discounts for early guilty pleas, the Ministry of Justice has been extremely successful in meeting the objectives set out in its business plan. Delays in the consultation on rehabilitation and sentencing reform were not enough to detract from a high success rate. However, in the face of finding savings to meet the current economic times and the need to continually appease the right of the Tory party by remaining tough on sentencing, a difficult road lies ahead and the hard work must continue in order to avoid coalition sensitivities. Department for Work and Pensions Score: 92% In general, DWP has been a strong performer this year, meeting the majority of its deadlines on time. The introduction of the Welfare Reform Bill was a significant milestone, as was the switch to the Consumer Prices Index. It is the successful rollout of universal credit reforms in 2013 however that will be the real test of whether DWP‟s hard work has paid off. In addition, high unemployment continues to pose a challenge for the department - it is perhaps too soon to tell if it is one that DWP can meet.
Department for Communities and Local Government Score: 85% With a score of 85% DCLG is broadly on track with its work plan, though delays have taken place within the department around tackling the issues of housing and energy supply. The Localism Bill which is being led by the department is likely to enter Parliament‟s statute book in the coming months. Department of Energy and Climate Change Score: 83% Despite its relatively high implementation score, DECC has had to deal with a series of crises over the past year. Fukushima knocked confidence in nuclear power, there has been significant challenge within government over the cost of renewable energy and a surprise additional tax on North Sea Oil and Gas didn‟t help relations with major investors in the UK energy supply. Despite these challenges the department managed to bring in the coalition‟s “Green Deal” to revolutionise energy efficiency in the UK and publish the Electricity Market Reform White Paper. However, from addressing rising utility bills to tackling long term energy security, DECC‟s work is far from done. Foreign Office Score: 79% Revitalised under William Hague, the Foreign Office has focused a significant amount of its attention on devising strategies for better co-operation with EU and Non-EU counties on issues ranging from defence to the environment. Even in the context of the unexpected events of the „Arab Spring‟, and Libya in particular, the department has completed the vast majority of its projects on time. One area where progress has been slower has been in developing stronger ties with Pakistan, in the wake of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Department for Transport Score: 76% DfT has on the whole succeeded in meeting the objectives and deadlines set out in its work plan, such as the timely publication of its consultation on the UK‟s future aviation strategy. However, stiffer challenges lie ahead and the department will naeed to keep up the good work if it is to deliver the Coalition‟s commitments on high speed rail and sustainable aviation. Home Office Score: 74% Under the Coalition Government, the Home Office is undergoing a power shift which aims to put power into the hands of local communities. This includes policies such as directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, publication of local crime data and „beat meetings‟ to help create a dialogue between the police and local people. However, in the wake of wide-scale rioting and with budgets being cut, the department‟s police reforms will be even more closely scrutinised.. With such big plans, the Secretary of State will need to remain strong if she wants to push through her ambitious agenda.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Score: 72% A steady, if unspectacular, performance from DEFRA, which must work on its consistency. It has dealt with its day to day jobs well but struggled when the pressure really came on during the forestry sell-off debate. Must try not to get distracted in the future. There is concern that DEFRA is often bullied by other, larger departments. Department of Health Total Score = 71% It‟s been a difficult term for the Department of Health. It has high ambitions, having set itself the challenge of the most radical re-organisation of the National Health Service since its inception, and morale quickly suffered under mounting criticism of the initial plans. In fairness, DoH did pause to engage with its critics, calling a halt to the progress of legislation to allow for a „listening exercise‟, and independent review. As a result, changes will be made to the detail of the proposals for NHS reform - albeit the overarching ambition for the health service remains the same: a patient-led service that supports clinical leadership. But doubt still remains over whether the ambition can be achieved – particularly against the target of finding £20bn of efficiency savings from the NHS in this Parliament. Cabinet Office Score: 69% The Cabinet Office has to be admired for its ambition and work ethic – not only has it has been taking on extra responsibilities, it also wants to tackle some of the trickiest subjects including public service reform and reigning in the Government‟s procurement spend. However, with such a heavy workload the department is struggling to keep to deadlines - its public services white paper was published almost six months late. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Score: 68% BIS has struggled to meet its objectives this parliamentary year, largely due to delays in publishing the Hargreaves Review of intellectual property. It has been a tough year for BIS, which has also had to deal with reforming the higher education system, including the controversial increase in tuition fees. With economic growth stalling and unemployment on the rise, the department needs to get its head down for what will hopefully be a more productive year. Department for Education: Score: 64% The department has been moderately successful in achieving the objectives and deadlines set out in its business plan, including the Education Bill currently going through Parliament which gives teachers increased disciplinary powers, and the publication of the Wolf Review into vocational education. However, under Michael Gove‟s leadership, the department is in the midst of radical change and with that comes challenge, with particular reference to setting up new Free Schools and drastic changes to the school curriculum.
HM Treasury Score: 63% The main bulk of work yet to be delivered by the Treasury involves consulting on and implementing a swathe of changes to the tax system, including increases in the personal allowance, simplifying PAYE and NIC, and changes to the corporate tax rates and rules. On top of that, they are still struggling to get their growth plans off the ground, with actions such as increasing access to finance for SMEs, and making concrete proposals for growth still outstanding.
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