Governments doing too little on gender diversity, report finds

A new survey reveals that very few public sector organisations have implemented specific programmes to propel women into leadership roles, despite widespread agreement that greater diversity in senior jobs strengthens policymaking, service delivery and recruitment. Following a commission by auditing and consultancy giant EY, Global Government Forum interviewed 80 public sector leaders from 17 countries […]

UK defence officials keep making the same mistakes, says Iraq inquiry historian

The British government and armed forces consistently failed to learn from the errors made in a series of military campaigns over 20 years, a former member of the Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War told an audience at the British Academy earlier this month. Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, who is Emeritus Professor of War Studies […]

Norway tops happiness index while mistrust blights the US

Norway has leapt from fourth to first place in this year’s world happiness index, on account of its high levels of social support and the absence of corruption in government and business. These factors also explain the decline of happiness in the US, which has slipped down a place in the World Happiness Report 2017 […]

OECD chief of staff calls for bold policies on gender equality

Governments have been urged to increase female participation in decision-making as part of efforts to crack down on corruption, tackle unemployment and boost economic growth. OECD chief of staff and Sherpa to the G20 Gabriela Ramos told the recent Conference on Business, Finance and Gender that “a bold policy response” is needed if governments are […]

Trump’s budget: federal staff braced for layoffs

Donald Trump’s first Budget as president of the United States may, characteristically, lack detail – but for federal government employees the writing is now clearly on the wall. Billed as a Budget to shrink the “bloated federal bureaucracy”, it doesn’t set out specific workforce reductions but does introduce a $54bn (£44bn or €50bn) boost for […]

EU-UK trade deal could take six years, says former WTO chief

The former director of the World Trade Organisation has said that a comprehensive trade deal between the UK and the EU could take five to six years to complete. Pascal Lamy, WTO director general between 2005 and 2013, said on Thursday that the two-year timeframe for negotiations provided by the Article 50 process is not […]

Calls for further EU security action as new measures signed into law

The European parliament president signed a range of security measures into law on Wednesday, a day after a leaked document written by the European Commission’s security union taskforce revealed failings thought to have permitted terrorist attacks in the continent. Antonio Tajani, who took over as the Parliament’s president in January, signed off legislation to strengthen […]

Former Canadian supreme court justice to lead on UN migration efforts

The United Nations chief has appointed Louise Arbour, a former supreme court justice from Canada, as special representative for international migration. Arbour, who has described migration as “one of the defining issues of our times”, will lead on the follow-up to the September 2016 UN Summit on Refugees, where all UN member states pledged to […]

Who is Emmanuel Macron? We profile the rising French presidential candidate

Emmanuel Macron, a late bloomer in France’s volatile presidential election, has unveiled a manifesto that combines elements of fiscal restraint and stimulus, deregulation and tighter rules on corruption, a clean-up and a speeding-up of French politics. Macron now looks more likely to face off against populist candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of […]

Singapore appoints civil service innovation champion

Singapore’s government is to train 10,000 public servants to use data analytics, the deputy prime minister has announced, while education minister Ong Ye Kung will spearhead a drive for public service innovation. Changes to the civil service have been developed as part of Singapore’s efforts to transform its economy. Delivered last month, the 2017 Budget […]

UK civil service celebrates International Women’s Day

Civil servants across the UK have come together to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017. Cross-government events have been taking place in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Bristol, Exeter and Cambridge under the international banner ‘Be Bold For Change’. Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd joined a range of speakers from various government departments and other organisations […]

Exclusive Interview: Tina Tchen, former Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls

After 22 years as a partner in a Chicago law firm, Tina Tchen was hired by the Obamas to spearhead their work on gender equality. She tells Matt Ross how far the country progressed under its visionary First Family – and how much further it has to go “We’re one of two countries in the world […]

Australian commissioner hits out at partisan public servants

The Australian public service commissioner, John Lloyd, has attacked Labor-run state governments for allowing union members among their public sector employees to engage in overtly political activities. Lloyd, who has clashed repeatedly with public sector unions over pay, conditions and election campaigning since he was appointed by former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott in December […]

Queen celebrates diversity with female civil service leaders

Female permanent secretaries, past and present, gathered at Buckingham Palace to celebrate diversity in the UK civil service with the Queen last month. A reception was held in the Queen’s Gallery to acknowledge the pace at which women are being appointed to the top of Whitehall – described by the Cabinet Office as “the fastest […]

GDS rolls out messaging platform for UK government digital services

The UK’s pioneering Government Digital Service (GDS) is launching a public notification platform across central government departments, with plans for further expansion later this year. The GOV.UK Notify system enables departments to send members of the public alerts, reminders and information on services, speeding up transaction times and saving on administration costs. According to GDS, […]

Report sheds light on federal contract opportunities in Trump era

A new report has offered insights into how the procurement landscape will look for companies bidding for government contracts in the Trump era, pointing to emerging opportunities in defence, security and nuclear technology. The study, by market analytics firm Govini, assesses the opportunities and likely levels of competition that industry providers face as key departments […]

UK Home Office perm sec chosen as top security adviser to Theresa May

The permanent secretary of UK prime minister Theresa May’s previous department, the Home Office, has been appointed to the role of National Security Advisor. Mark Sedwill becomes the latest official to move from the Home Office to enter May’s inner circle of advisers, joining a clutch of special advisers and officials who’ve already gone over […]

Federal agencies face cuts as Trump looks to boost defence budget

US federal departments and agencies are facing up to $54 billion (£43bn or €51bn) of cuts as the country’s new president Donald Trump seeks to increase defence and security spending. The White House yesterday sketched out the initial details of its spending plans for the 2018 fiscal year. At the top of a list is […]

Contractors outnumber civil servants in Australia’s defence department

Consultants and contractors now outnumber permanent staff in Australia’s Department of Defence, its exasperated chief revealed last week during a webinar with 2,000 public servants from the ministry’s Science and Technology Group. Defence permanent secretary Dennis Richardson, who is expected to retire in the next few months, told officials that the department is using up […]

Report: ‘Deluded’ UK cannot afford to be smug on Brexit

Britain is in a weak negotiating position and will have to win the goodwill of leaders in Europe if it is to avoid economic chaos following Brexit, according to a report by independent think tank the Centre for European Reform (CER). With Theresa May set to trigger Article 50 in March, CER director Charles Grant […]