Gender imbalance remains in Nepalese civil service recruitment

The Nepalese civil service has seen its proportion of women rise from eight per cent a decade ago to 23% last year, new figures reveal – though clear evidence of gender discrimination remains. In 2008-9, just 32,457 women applied for civil service jobs through the national examination system, but in 2017-18 that figure reached 296,704, […]

Maltese audit office strategy aims to improve impact

Malta’s audit office has launched a five-year strategy designed to improve its operations and boost its impact, enabling it to better “fulfil its role as the guardian of the public purse”. The strategy – the first since since the institution became independent 20 years ago – represents the results of a year-long consultation with audit […]

Australian government to launch digital transformation strategy

The Australian government is to launch a new digital transformation strategy at the beginning of 2019, setting out a roadmap designed to make the country a world leader in digital government by 2025. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast last week, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said the […]

Morale plummets in US labour relations agencies

Satisfaction with senior leadership has declined sharply among the U.S. agencies responsible for governing labour-management relations and federal workforce issues, the government’s workforce survey has found. The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, run by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), measures employee satisfaction and engagement across 82 different government agencies annually. Respondents were asked to give […]

Former head of UK civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, dies at 56

The death of the former UK Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, was announced on Sunday. Sir Jeremy was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 but continued in his role for a further year until June 2018, when he took leave of absence to receive treatment. He officially took retirement and […]

UK satellite data to improve public service delivery

High-resolution satellite images will help the UK public sector tackle issues such as plastic waste and city planning, the government has announced. The UK Space Agency’s Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP) will provide thousands of free images and radar data to government departments, emergency services and local councils. The data will be available for […]

French civil servants targeted by Chinese cyber spies, leak reveals

A leaked French intelligence services report has revealed that thousands of the country’s civil servants have been targeted by Chinese spies using fake LinkedIn profiles. Following the leak to leading French newspaper Le Figaro, the UK’s Telegraph reported that in recent months Chinese spies have pretended to be headhunters, consultants or think tank employees seeking […]

World Bank report highlights innovation in 15 case studies

A new report shedding light on how low- and middle-income countries can improve their public sectors and civil services was launched yesterday by the World Bank. The report, ‘Improving Public Sector Performance: Through Innovation and Inter-Agency Coordination’, sets out 15 case studies to demonstrate how public sector innovation is working in practice. Examples include Rwanda, […]

APS commissioner outlines vision for more flexible civil service

The new Australian Public Service (APS) commissioner has outlined a vision of a more “permeable” civil service in his first public speech. Peter Woolcott was appointed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August after serving as head his office for a year. Speaking at the APSwide conference in Canberra, he addressed how the public […]

UK head of the civil service retires due to ill health

Sir Jeremy Heywood has announced that he is standing down as cabinet secretary and head of the civil service. Heywood has been cabinet secretary since 2012 and headed up the civil service since 2014, but stepped down temporarily in June in order to undergo treatment for cancer. However, today Heywood announced that although he still […]

UK cabinet secretary defends chief Brexit negotiator

UK cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill has publicly defended civil servants negotiating the UK’s exit from the European Union from attacks by politicians. Sedwill wrote to The Times newspaper responding to an article in which anonymous Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs accused prime minister’s EU adviser, Olly Robbins of having a “Rasputinesque hold” over his boss. The cabinet secretary said […]

Cabinet secretary returns to government under new Australian PM

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has brought Peter Conran, an adviser to former prime minister John Howard, back into government as his new cabinet secretary. Conran worked for Howard between 2001 and 2007 as a senior adviser, then cabinet secretary and head of the cabinet policy unit. The prime minister’s press team confirmed the appointment […]

Trump demands 5% cuts across government – bar defence

US President Donald Trump this week asked all government departments to plan for budget cuts of 5%, though he said a recent boost to spending at the Department of Defense will remain intact. Speaking before this month’s cabinet meeting, Trump dubbed the proposal the “nickel plan” – an allusion to the recently revived ‘penny plan’, […]

UK steps back from Verify ID system

The UK has announced the end of public funding for its digital identity programme, Verify. Last week, the government signed five 18-month contracts with its certified private sector identity partners, tapering off the amount of public money they receive. Oliver Dowden, parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office, told MPs that this will be the last […]

US federal personnel chief quits after seven months

The White House has appointed a new head of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) following the resignation of previous chief Jeff Pon, who took up the post in March but quit last week. Margaret Weichert will take on the role as acting director of the OPM, in addition to her current job as deputy […]

Far stronger policies needed to limit climate change, scientists conclude

Policies to mitigate climate change need to be urgently and substantially strengthened to limit warming to 1.5°C, the world’s leading climate scientists have said in landmark research published today. To avoid the worst outcomes of climate change, governments will have to pursue “rapid and far-reaching” changes in their countries’ management of land, energy, industry, buildings, […]

Rwanda pilots digital aid transparency scheme

Rwanda has been selected as the pilot country for a new digital system that enables donors and recipients to share data on aid management, with the aim of improving transparency. The new system, Global Funding Standards – Good Financing and Grant Practice (GFGP), is an initiative of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). A memorandum […]

Rwanda criminalises ‘humiliating’ cartoons and writing

Cartoons and writing that “humiliate” civil servants or members of parliament are now a criminal offence in Rwanda, after the government brought in new legislation. Those found guilty of the new offence face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1150. The penalty doubles if the subject of the cartoon […]

New Zealand plans to build wellbeing into budget decisions

The public sector needs to focus more strongly on improving the current and future health of people and the environment, the government of New Zealand has said. The country’s Treasury is consulting on amendments to the Public Finance Act that will ensure that ‘wellbeing’ objectives such as improving housing, reducing child poverty and cutting greenhouse […]

Northern Ireland’s biggest party broke the law in appointing special advisers, inquiry hears

Northern Ireland’s leading loyalist party routinely broke the law in how it appointed ministerial special advisors, a public inquiry has heard. The inquiry was set up last year to examine the non-domestic renewable heating incentive (RHI) scheme, which offered financial incentives for businesses to use renewable fuels to generate heat. Flaws in the system caused […]