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 […]

IMF and Eurozone loan to cover Greece’s July debt repayment

Greece has reached agreement with its European creditors on a new bail-out programme aimed at preventing another summer debt crisis. The 11th hour deal struck at the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday includes conditional backing from the International Monetary Fund. The meeting was attended by IMF managing director Christine Lagarde. It […]

New law to squeeze employment protections for US Veterans Affairs staff

A controversial bill that will allow the swift dismissal of staff at the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is awaiting sign-off by president Donald Trump after receiving the backing of the House of Representatives yesterday. There are fears that the passage of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act could open […]

Parliamentary maths looks set to change UK’s Brexit course

British prime minister Theresa May’s failure to secure an overall parliamentary majority in last week’s general election has left her in the middle of what looks set to become a ferocious tug-of-war over how the UK will approach the imminent Brexit negotiations. May has bought herself some political breathing space with her own party, striking […]

Clock ticking for Theresa May as EU leaders stand firm on Brexit timetable

As the UK comes to terms with the political chaos prompted by last week’s snap election, one pressing question is what shape Britain will be in to begin the imminent Brexit negotiations. Talks on the UK’s departure from the EU are due to begin in one week’s time, on 19 June. But with last Thursday’s […]

UK election surprise leaves Brexit talks uncertain

UK prime minister Theresa May suffered a huge electoral blow last night, losing her parliamentary majority in a general election held just days before the beginning of formal Brexit talks with the EU. May herself called the election in April, when polls suggested that her Conservative Party was 20 percentage points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s […]

New Zealand’s civil service chief wins national public leader award

New Zealand’s top civil servant has been named public sector CEO of the year in an annual review assessing the health and performance of the country’s government departments. The 2017 edition of the TransTasman New Zealand Government Departments Review singled out the country’s state service commissioner and head of state services, Peter Hughes, for his […]

Malaysia sets open data targets

The Malaysian government has agreed to step up public access to official data after taking part in a World Bank programme. Malaysia is the 14th country to complete the World Bank’s Open Data Readiness Assessment, which aims to show how governments can make large amounts of official data publicly available through open data initiatives (ODIs) […]

UK civil service grappling with ethnic minority representation, study finds

Ethnic minorities are still “woefully underrepresented” in the British civil service despite attempts to improve diversity, according to the Institute for Government (IfG). Analysis from the London-based think tank reveals that the percentage of ethnic minority representation in the civil service as a whole is lower than in the national population. And it is smaller […]

EU pledges Brexit transparency

The European Commission has agreed to ensure a “maximum level of transparency” in the negotiations over Brexit, following calls from the EU’s public administration watchdog for citizens to be kept fully informed. Negotiating documents including agendas, EU position papers, EU text proposals and “non-papers” will be released to the public, the EC said in a […]

Fiji kicks off long-awaited pay review

The government of Fiji is conducting a pay review of its entire civil service, as part of a reform programme designed to improve public service delivery standards across the Pacific island nation. After a sharp rise in inflation to around 5% during 2016, civil servants are hoping for their first significant pay rise in over […]

Falling commodity prices must prompt reforms in Latin America, says OECD executive

Latin American governments must target spending more closely and make public administration more efficient in order to ease pressure on budgets caused by falling commodity prices, a leading OECD official has said. Luiz de Mello, OECD’s Deputy Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development, has called for better public financial management and governance in the […]

Brazil boosts analysis of risks to public finances

Brazil has beefed up the way it assesses risks to its public finances after the International Monetary Fund identified “weaknesses” in planning. Amid deteriorating economic conditions, the country’s treasury has expanded the “fiscal risk statement” (FRS) that it publishes annually alongside the budget to highlight threats to the public accounts posed by state enterprises, sub-national […]

Nigeria scrambles to replace retiring perm secs

The Nigerian federal government has drawn up a civil service leadership succession plan, in a bid to replace 16 permanent secretaries who are due to retire this year. The move was announced by head of the civil service Winifred Oyo-Ita at a retirement ceremony for Dr Saheed Yemi Adelakun, permanent secretary (PS) for the Common […]

UK urged to create independent trade policy adviser

The UK needs to set up an independent body to advise on trade policy post-Brexit, a British think tank has argued. A new paper from the London-based Institute for Government warns that the UK government needs to “radically” change the way it operates if it is to reap the full benefits of taking back control […]

Bulgarian MEP to lead on EU’s digital economy

Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament Mariya Gabriel is set to head up the European Commission’s digital economy and society portfolio, after the Bulgarian government nominated her as its next commissioner. The appointment, which is subject to approval by the European Parliament, was announced by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker after he interviewed Gabriel […]

Top officials gather in London for public finance summit

Senior civil servants from the finance departments of 12 countries are gathering in London today (Friday) to discuss some of the biggest global issues facing public finance professionals – including the challenges to globalisation, the need to manage risk in our finance sectors, and the tasks of building essential skills and technologies. The event is […]

Canadian union logs formal grievance over troubled pay system

A civil service union has filed two policy grievances against the Canadian federal government, following a catalogue of errors in its computerised pay system which – they say – have led to civil servants going unpaid for extended periods. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has accused the government of “continuously […]

Global ransomware attack used info stolen from NSA, says Microsoft

The head of Microsoft has called on governments to stop stockpiling software vulnerabilities, after claiming that Friday’s global cyber-attack exploited information stolen from the US National Security Agency. The ‘WannaCrypt’ cyber-attack (from the software’s name Wanna Decryptor, and also known as WannaCry) is estimated to have hit some 200,000 organisations in at least 150 countries. […]