High demand for transfer scheme as Irish officials seek to flee Dublin

Almost 1,000 Irish civil servants have applied for transfers out of Dublin in the past 12 months, with politicians blaming the high cost of living in the city. The figure represents about one in 16 of the capital’s civil servants. The Civil Service Mobility scheme allows workers to request a transfer to other parts of […]

Brexit increasing civil service turnover

Staff turnover in the UK civil service has worsened since Brexit, in a workforce which already sees staff changing jobs at a much higher rate than those in many other countries. The finding came in research from think tank the Institute for Government (IfG), published yesterday. Its report says that excessive staff turnover, particularly among […]

Singapore’s former civil service chief launches SME digital tools

A Singapore agency run by the country’s former Cabinet Secretary is giving start-up businesses free training in digital business solutions, in a bid to improve their growth and resilience. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can choose two courses from a range of options covering accountancy, human resource management and payroll, digital marketing, digital transactions or […]

DRC election ‘winner’ promises pay hike for officials

The politician who’s claimed victory in last month’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presidential election has promised to fight corruption, tackle poverty, and raise civil service salaries – fulfilling an abandoned promise by the outgoing government. Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the DRC’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) – the country’s oldest opposition […]

Calls for end to US monopoly as World Bank chief quits

The resignation of the World Bank’s president has prompted calls for his successor to be non-American, amid fears that the bank’s policies could shift to reflect US president Donald Trump’s attitudes to protectionism and the developing world. Jim Yong Kim announced earlier this week that he would leave his post at the end of January, […]

Chinese law targets civil service nepotism

A new law attacking nepotism in the civil service has been adopted by Chinese lawmakers, as part of leader Xi Jinping’s drive against corruption. Under the new legislation, officials will be barred from working as the managers of regulators or administrative departments which oversee businesses run by their own spouses, children, or spouses of their […]

Philippines to let officials retire at 56

Legislation to lower the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 to 56 in the Philippines has been voted through, with overwhelming support from the House of Representatives for amendments to section 13-A of the Republic Act 8291 – also known as the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997. The principle author of the […]

Asia closing digital gap with the West, report finds

Singapore has overtaken the US in the support it provides for national digital transformation, according to analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit, while Japan has inched ahead of the UK. In the unit’s 2018 Asian Digital Transformation Index, Singapore again topped the overall results table, whilst Japan and Hong Kong overtook South Korea. But the […]

UK’s digital unit touts procurement platform overseas

The UK government is to spend £11m (US$14m) offering an international version of its digital procurement platform to countries around the world, with an initial focus on Latin America, Africa and Asia. The Digital Marketplace connects public sector business owners and digital teams with suppliers, user research participants and test facilities, and has been in […]

Democrats challenge Trump’s pay freeze

A group of senators have urged Donald Trump to reverse his decision to freeze pay rates for civilian public sector workers “in the strongest possible terms”. Senators Mark Warner, Chris van Hollen, Maizie Hirono, Tim Kaine, Benjamin Cardin and Sherrod Brown, all members of the Democratic party, wrote to Trump after he reaffirmed his commitment […]

Indian external recruitment drive falters

The Indian government’s plan to bring outside specialists into senior civil service jobs, undermining the Indian Administrative Service’s (IAS’s) long-standing monopoly on leadership roles, has hit a roadblock. Or two. The proposed reforms are designed to plug skills gaps in specialist, technical fields such as global finance, disaster management and artificial intelligence, and represent “the […]

New report profiles cross-departmental projects

A report showcasing how three countries have used cross-departmental action to tackle public policy challenges has been published by a Canadian think tank. Abandoning Silos: How innovative governments are collaborating horizontally to solve complex problems, published on Dec 11 by the Mowat Centre, focuses on case studies from the UK, Estonia, and New Zealand. Governments […]

US aims to launch ‘innovation incubator’ in 2019

The US aims to establish an ‘innovation incubator’ during 2019, bringing together industry, academia and the government to address issues facing federal agencies. Margaret Weichert, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, said on 12 December that she wants the research centre to […]

UK engagement score inches up

The UK’s annual Civil Service People Survey has recorded a one point rise in staff engagement, to 62%. In the annual survey HM Treasury had the highest level of engagement – up one point to 75% – followed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO and Department for International Development (DfID), which both recorded scores […]

‘Integrity Idol’ helps tackle corruption in Mali

The work of civil servants and those fighting corruption in Mali’s public service has been highlighted and celebrated at an ‘Integrity Idol’ event modeled on the TV singing contest. The competition – in which citizens vote for shortlisted public servants – was hosted by Accountability Lab, an organisation that supports change-makers to develop and implement […]

EU launches AI strategy

The European Commission and member states have drawn up a plan to foster the development and use of AI, to “ensure that Europe reaps the benefits” of the new technology. The Commission presented the “coordinated plan”, developed in partnership with 28 EU member states, Norway and Switzerland, in Brussels on Dec 7. In it, they […]

‘Leadership deficit’ hitting US morale, survey finds

There has been a dramatic fall in US federal employee engagement in 2018, research has found, with senior leadership a major concern amongst workers. The ‘2018 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government’ rankings, produced by the Partnership for Public Service and the Boston Consulting Group, found employee engagement fell at nearly 60% of government agencies over the […]

US national AI strategy rethink slated for spring 2019

The US government is planning to update its artificial intelligence (AI) research and development strategy in spring 2019, setting out ways of measuring progress against its goals. Lynne Parker, assistant director of artificial intelligence in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said there would soon be an updated version of the existing […]

New Zealand forging ahead with civil service gender equality

More than half of New Zealand’s civil service chief executive roles are now filled by women, the government has announced. Of the 33 public service departments across government, 17 will be headed by a woman by February 2019. Three new female appointments since June 2018 have increased the number to 52% of the total – […]

South Africa launches cloud scheme

The South African government has launched what it claims is the largest government cloud infrastructure in the world, providing a base for the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). At a launch event, the country’s State Information Technology Agency (SITA) presented the new venture in partnership with private sector IT partners Gijima, […]