“Extraordinary lapse in security” leads to reforms in Australian civil service

The Australian government is implementing information security reforms in the Australian Public Service following the revelation that secret cabinet documents ended up in a second hand shop. In February, broadcaster ABC reported that papers containing details of five cabinet meetings contained in a filing cabinet had ended up being sold to a member of the […]

Political influence undermining Balkan appointments, report warns

The systems for recruiting senior civil servants in Balkan states aren’t robust enough to ensure professional competence, according to a new report by Support for Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA) – a joint initiative of the OECD and the European Union. SIGMA found that selection rules often allow for wide political discretion, specifically for senior civil service (SCS) […]

Affordable renewable electricity has arrived: what next?

Last year, global investment and installation in renewable electricity supplies overtook their fossil fuel predecessors. But as electricity market policy makers celebrate, their colleagues across fields such as planning, transport and economic development must capitalise on their colleagues’ success – shifting new economic sectors from dependence on oil, gas and coal to green electricity supplies. […]

Indonesian regional heads call for end to civil service recruitment freeze

Regional political leaders in Indonesia have called for president Joko Widodo to lift a moratorium on the recruitment of civil servants. The moratorium came into effect on 1 January 2015 in a bid to cut government spending. The country employs 4.5 million civil servants, who work for both central and regional authorities and account for […]

UK to publish civil service ‘innovation map’

The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) has created a tool to map and record innovative use of technology across the country’s civil service bodies. GDS director general Kevin Cunnington announced the new “innovation map” during a presentation at the Public Sector Show in London late last month, during a speech on the next steps for […]

Thousands of civil servants sacked in Turkey

More than 18,000 Turkish public employees have been dismissed by a government decree, ahead of the inauguration of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a reshaped presidential role with significant new powers. Erdoğan, who has ruled Turkey as prime minister and then president for 15 years, won a snap election last month with 52% of the vote. He was officially […]

Court ruling: key Northern Ireland decisions must await new power-sharing executive

Civil servants in Northern Ireland did not have the power to grant planning permission for the construction of an incinerator by council waste management coalition arc21, the Court of Appeal has ruled – reinforcing the administrative limbo afflicting the province since the collapse of its power-sharing executive in early 2017. The appeal was brought by […]

Nairobi civil servants to work in shifts, cutting congestion

Kenya’s public servants will soon be working split shifts to help tackle congestion in the capital city, the government has said. The Public Service ministry has written to all civil servants working and living in Nairobi requesting details of their areas of work and residence, in order to decide how to split officials between two […]

Contributory pensions introduced for civil servants in Kenya and the Bahamas

Governments in Kenya and the Bahamas have introduced contributory pension schemes for civil servants. In Kenya, civil servants, teachers and members of the armed forces will pay 7.5% of their gross salary towards their retirement from January 2019. The government has wanted to introduce contributory pensions for many years, but has finally made the move […]

New Zealand launches cross-government gender pay principles

Pay rates should be transparent, employment practices free from gender bias and the value of unpaid work recognised, according to a set of civil service gender pay principles launched by the government of New Zealand. The government agreed to work with unions the Public Service Association (PSA) and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions […]

Hong Kong raises civil service retirement age to 65

The retirement age for civil servants in Hong Kong is to be raised by five years, the government’s Executive Council has confirmed. Civilian grade civil servants who joined the government between 1 June 2000 and 31 May 2015 will be able to opt to retire at 65 instead of 60, while uniformed civil servants such […]

UK unions join to condemn paltry pay rises

All three UK civil service unions have joined forces to call for the government’s latest pay guidance to be scrapped, labelling the consultation process “shambolic and contemptible”. In a show of unity, the leaders of the FDA, Prospect and PCS met with David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office, to express their opposition to proposed […]

MPs call for revival of UK’s abolished National School for Government

A committee of UK MPs has called on the government to reopen the National School for Government (NSG), a civil service leadership college closed in 2012 as part of austerity measures. The school provided classroom-based training and development courses for officials and hosted the Sunningdale Institute, designed to channel academic research and expertise into the […]

UK Cabinet Secretary steps down for medical treatment

Sir Jeremy Heywood, the UK cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, is to temporarily step down whilst he receives treatment for cancer, passing most of his duties to national security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill. A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said the country’s most senior civil servant is to undergo more treatment for […]

White House unveils major organisational changes

The Trump administration has launched a wide-ranging plan for the reform of the executive branch of the US federal government, including proposals for the White House to take direct control of policymaking on the management of federal personnel. The White House says its 32-point plan aims to help avoid duplication of effort between departments and […]

Bangalore tackles malnutrition with 170 subsidised canteens

India’s Karnataka state administration has launched a radical scheme designed to address hunger and malnutrition in the city of Bengaluru, setting up 170 canteens offering subsidised meals to the city’s 12m people. The Indira Canteens programme, managed by the state-backed administrative body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), feeds an average of 300,000 people each day […]

US senators slam pension cuts as ‘draconian’

Twenty-six senators have urged Office of Personnel Management director Jeff Pon to reverse his proposals to slash retirement benefits for current and future federal retirees. Pon proposed the changes to Congress in May. If implemented, they would increase the contributions employees make to the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS); eliminate the FERS supplement for employees […]

German court upholds civil service strike ban

Introducing a right to strike for civil servants would fundamentally reshape the principles of the civil service, a German court has ruled. In a judgment handed down last week, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected four complaints against a ban on civil servants striking. The case was bought by teachers, who are classified as civil servants, […]

Former UK CTO calls for reform of digital funding systems

The UK government needs to find a better way to finance its digital transformation, according to the government’s former chief technology officer. James Stewart, who co-founded the UK Government Digital Service, last week published a paper outlining recommendations for how the government could spend less on digital services, while delivering them more effectively. The paper, […]

Zimbabwean central bank bids to outlaw cryptocurrency trading

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced that it plans to challenge a High Court ruling which blocks its attempt to ban trading in cryptocurrencies in the southern African nation. The battle began on 15 May, when the bank gave financial establishments 60 days to end any relationships with the currency exchanges Styx24 and Golix […]