Some elements of Maude report would be welcome but politicising the civil service would be simply wrong

13 November 2023

The government is to publish a report by Lord Maude into reforming the civil service which will recommend more private sector experience in senior levels of Whitehall and a complete overhaul of management systems.

The report also calls for more ministerial involvement in civil service appointments. The findings will be considered by the government which will then decide which to implement and how.

Whitehall Street Sign


Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“We have long argued that there should be much more scope for staff to move between the private sector and the civil service and vice versa, but this will only happen if the civil service becomes competitive on pay, terms and conditions, particularly where scientific, technical and digital skills are needed.

“While we may welcome some of Francis Maude’s proposals the idea that ministers should be able to politicise civil service appointments is simply wrong. It would remove one of the most essential founding principles which sets us apart from less effective systems of government.

“On a day where we see yet more chaos at the top of government, the civil service continues to offer stability to the is country because of its ability to speak truth to power to ministers.”

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