IMF champions move towards ‘gender budgeting’

With Italy putting gender equality at the heart of its G7 presidency, there’s growing interest in public finance managers’ potential to help women play a greater role in economic growth. Gavin O’Toole explains The concept of ‘gender budgeting’ is gaining currency among governments and international institutions, with the IMF pushing for greater adoption of the […]

OECD warning over falling public investment

The world’s leading developed countries should increase public investment in areas such as infrastructure and education after seven years of steady decline. That is the central recommendation of the OECD’s 2017 Government at a Glance report, which compares the public sector performance of major economies during 2007-2016 – including the period after the 2008 global […]

Singapore civil service chief Peter Ong set to retire

Former policeman Leo Yip is to take over as head of the Singapore Civil Service on 1 September, when the incumbent Peter Ong retires after seven years in the top job. Yip is a former police commander, who rose to become the force’s operations director before moving into the civil service as a principal private […]

Scotland to end 1% public sector pay cap

The Scottish government has pledged to scrap the one per cent public sector pay cap, which has applied across the UK since 2010, in its 2018-19 budget. Finance secretary Derek Mackay confirmed the move in a statement to Scotland’s Holyrood Parliament and a letter to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. “We will take […]

Myanmar reform plan launched to strengthen civil service

The government of Myanmar has launched a four-year strategic plan for reform of its civil service, placing a strong emphasis on tackling corruption. The wide-ranging plan, which says it aims to make the civil service more ethical and inclusive, was drawn up by Myanmar’s Union Civil Service Board (UCSB) with help from the United Nations […]

Ukraine launches civil service reform programme

A project to tackle graft and boost efficiency in the Ukrainian civil service has been launched, with backing from the European Union and World Bank. The project, which will focus on the reform of public administration and financial management systems, is being led by Ukraine’s State Agency for the Civil Service and its Ministry of […]

Tatiana Janeckova, Head of the Civil Service Office, Government Office of the Slovak Republic: Interview

For over two years Slovakia has been quietly pursuing a radical set of civil service reforms, with the goal of creating a more professional, skilled and motivated workforce. The programme’s architect Tatiana Janeckova explains how the programme is progressing In November 2014, responsibility for overseeing the Slovakian government’s workforce passed from the Ministry of Labour and Social […]

Canada tops new index of civil service effectiveness

Canada has the world’s most effective civil service, followed by New Zealand and Australia, according to a new global ranking. The International Civil Service Effectiveness Index (InCiSE), which covers 31 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia, is the first comparative assessment of how national governments’ civil services are performing around the […]

New Australian cyber unit to target overseas criminals

Australia has launched a new information warfare unit, charged with combating cyber criminals abroad and defending the country’s military infrastructure. The unit, whose creation was announced at the end of June, has opened with 100 staff; numbers are expected to grow to 900 within 10 years. It will employ both military personnel and civilian public […]

Civil servants left running Northern Ireland after power-sharing talks collapse

The government of Northern Ireland is set to remain in the hands of civil servants until September after power-sharing talks broke down last week. Secretary of State James Brokenshire declared an open-ended hiatus in the cross-party negotiations on Tuesday 4 July, just one day after telling MPs that he continued “to believe that a deal […]

New HK chief calls on civil servants to unite

Hong Kong’s 170,000 civil servants received special attention on the inauguration of the city’s new chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, but the ceremony was overshadowed by calls for officials to be “patriots who respect the Chinese people” and warnings that Hong Kong’s people mustn’t cross China’s “red line” around sovereignty and security. Lam called […]

UK government splits grow over austerity

Growing pressure on the UK government to end seven years of tough austerity policies by lifting a pay cap on 5.4 million public sector workers has exposed divisions within the ruling Conservative party just weeks after an election that denied it a majority. In signs of a breakdown of collective Cabinet responsibility since the election […]

OECD warns of falling Dutch overseas aid

An international committee has called on the Netherlands to stop cutting overseas aid, after a review found that the country’s spending had dropped below the United Nations’ target level. Following a ‘peer review’ of aid spending, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) noted that Holland has spent more than […]

Beate Gminder, Secretary General, European Ombudsman’s Office: Exclusive Interview

The European Ombudsman has gradually been expanding its remit, launching strategic and ‘own initiative’ inquiries into the EU’s systems and operations. Liz Heron interviews its secretary general about its changing role – and her own journey from poacher to gamekeeper The narrative around ‘unaccountable Brussels bureaucrats’ has gained enormous traction in parts of Europe, playing […]

Report highlights UK government’s ‘weak’ infrastructure decision-making

The UK government “struggles” to make decisions on big infrastructure projects, wasting civil servants’ time and taxpayers’ money, a specialist UK think tank has warned. A report by the Institute for Government (IfG) published today says that “weak” decision-making processes on infrastructure investment in the UK put the government at risk of pursuing projects that […]

Canadian unions warn of security risks from outsourced warship contracts

Unions in Canada have warned the country’s prime minister Justin Trudeau that a “worrisome” trend of private sector outsourcing at the Department of National Defence (DND) could compromise national security. In a strongly worded letter yesterday, the Union of National Defence Employees and Public Service Alliance of Canada called on Trudeau to reconsider recently announced […]

Australian government launches push to harness benefits of big data

The Australian government is inviting citizens to give their views on how it uses ‘big data’ to improve services while safeguarding individual privacy. A newly launched website invites public feedback on the work of a cross-party ‘data task force’, which is leading the government’s efforts to make better use of data in service delivery. The […]

German fiscal policy chief: EU unity outranks tariff-free exports

The head of Germany’s Fiscal Policy Division has warned that the country will prioritise EU unity and the core principles of the Single Market over its short-term interest in exporting goods to the UK, directly challenging the ideas underpinning the negotiating strategy of Britain’s Brexiteers. Vote Leave campaigners, including the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis, […]

China shuts the ‘revolving door’

China has introduced tough new rules on civil servants who leave their jobs for the private sector as part of a nationwide crackdown on corruption. Officials in leadership positions or at the county level and above will no longer be allowed to take jobs in profit-making organisations within the same region for three years after […]

70 countries sign OECD tax evasion treaty

More than 70 countries have signed up to the first international treaty designed to crack down on tax evasion by multinational corporations. The multilateral convention, drafted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), aims to close the gaps in tax rules which allow corporations to shift their profits to very low tax countries […]