Civil servants must make their views heard, says former UK minister
Senior officials, he said, “have loads of experience and knowledge” and should be be part of the strategic conversation.
While officials at the Treasury gave their views readily from the beginning, they were more hesitant to do so at DCSF, he said.
“It took me a long time to get the civil servants to say what we should do when I arrived at DCSF. I would say: ‘Whats the plan?’ and they would ask me what I wanted them to do.
“I said to them: ‘I don’t want you to tell me what you think I think. I want you to tell me what you think. And when we got there, it was great.”
Balls, who lost his parliamentary seat in last year’s general election after more than ten years as an MP, was speaking at a lecture he gave about his new book Speaking Out and the lessons he learned from his time in politics.
The event, which also featured former Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nicholas Macpherson, was organised by the Strand Group at King’s College London.
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