Chinese social media opening up public debate, university study finds

Chinese social media systems are fostering a more open public debate within the country on political and social issues such as corruption, new research from the University of Rhode Island has found. Yinjiao Ye, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the university, who co-produced the study, told Global Government Forum that: […]

Rush of new delivery units enjoying mixed success, says think tank

Governments around the world are increasingly emulating the ‘delivery unit’ model pioneered in the UK, but with mixed success, research suggests. A report published today by the London-based Institute for Government (IfG) reveals that delivery units now play a key role in supporting central government activities in 25 countries, with many more operating at regional […]

Indian anti-corruption agency investigates its former boss

India’s premier federal anti-corruption agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has been asked by the Supreme Court to investigate its own former chief – who is suspected of attempting to influence corruption probes during his tenure at the organisation. Ranjit Sinha is currently on trial at the Supreme Court, and has been indicted by […]

Exclusive interview: Christine Loh, Under Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong

You might not expect to find a former environmental and democracy activist working as a senior adviser at the heart of the Hong Kong government – but Christine Loh has spent five years in the environment department, and made great strides in tackling the city’s smog problem. Liz Heron interviews her Air pollution has increased […]

UK MPs call for stronger regulation of ‘revolving door’ between government and business

The UK’s system for regulating the ‘revolving door’ between public office and business is “ineffectual” and its weakness has “damaged” trust in politics and public institutions. That is the main conclusion of a report published today by MPs from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PASAC) on the processes in place to scrutinise the […]

Leading Brexit campaigner says UK can remain open to immigrant labour

The UK’s leaders have the opportunity to win public support for a Brexit settlement that protects the levels of immigration required to support economic growth, a leading Brexit campaigner has claimed. Douglas Carswell MP argued earlier this month that the referendum result “was not an angry, nativist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant vote; it was won precisely because […]

Report reveals how governments can do more with less

Improved productivity could save governments around the world up to US$3.5 trillion (UK£2.7tn or €3.3tn) a year and help them deliver better public services, a new assessment by the McKinsey Center for Government (MCG) suggests. The report reveals how a number of countries have in recent years managed to improve services while maintaining or even […]

New GCHQ chief arrives in wake of UK-US wiretap spat

A senior intelligence officer who led counter-terrorism operations for the London 2012 Olympics has been appointed as head of the UK’s surveillance agency GCHQ. Jeremy Fleming, who is deputy director of Britain’s domestic security agency MI5, is due to take up the post around Easter. He will succeed Robert Hannigan, who announced in January that […]

Pensions reform aims to tackle Brazilian deficit

Violent clashes outside Brazil’s parliament have underlined fierce opposition to pension reforms, aimed at balancing the country’s troubled public finances, which could raise the minimum retirement age to 65. Off-duty federal police officers were among 500 demonstrators repelled by riot squads after trying to storm the National Congress building in Brasilia as a committee of […]

UN leaders look to private sector for sustainable development goals cash

Senior United Nations officials have called for greater efforts to marshal the resources needed to meet the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). At the opening of a one-day event on financing the SDGs yesterday, the UN deputy secretary-general Amina J Mohammed urged governments and investors around the world to tap into new sources of capital […]

MPs challenge UK government on weakening of public appointment principles

The UK parliament’s public administration watchdog has accused the British government of deliberately trying to weaken the rules ensuring transparency and probity in public appointments, giving ministers more power to appoint friends and allies as the leaders of supposedly-autonomous ‘non-departmental public bodies’. MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) spoke out after […]

Thai military relaxes its grip on power in new constitution

Thailand’s new constitution has received royal assent after nearly three years of military rule, paving the way to national elections. The constitution includes new measures that limit the powers of future elected governments, including a fully-appointed senate and a legally-binding 20-year development masterplan devised by the ruling military junta. Critics say it entrenches the army’s […]

Former civil service chief to review New Zealand’s interest rate system

New Zealand’s Treasury has appointed a former senior civil servant to review how interest rates are set by the governor of the Reserve Bank, who is considered to have powers greater than almost any other central bank chief. Iain Rennie, the former State Services Commissioner, will examine the process for setting the official cash rate […]

New international centre to challenge state-led fake news and cyber attacks

An international centre to spearhead research into how to combat novel forms of ‘hybrid’ warfare is being set up in Helsinki. The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats will examine the relationship between conventional warfare and non-traditional forms of aggression, including cyber-attacks, false information campaigns and electoral interference. It was launched last week […]

EU gender equality report reveals ‘mountain to climb’

The EU still has “a mountain to climb” in ensuring gender equality, the European Commissioner in charge of gender equality has warned, with women across the Continent continuing to face a glass ceiling in reaching management and leadership positions. Vĕra Jourová, the EU Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, told Global Government Forum that […]

Regional administrations band together on climate change

Scotland has joined a global coalition of regional administrations that is pushing for ambitious targets and national action to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Scottish government has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California – a […]

Behavioural insights ‘have taken root’ in governments: OECD report

The use of ‘behavioural insight’ techniques in public policy is entering the mainstream, a new report from the OECD argues, and the next step is to use them to influence organisational behaviour inside public institutions. Governments are increasingly using behavioural insights – a practice combining psychology and economics – to design policies and regulations around […]

Progress on female ministers has stalled, says UN

There has been little progress in increasing the number of women in the upper echelons of governments in recent years, according to data released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. The Women in Politics 2017 Map, released during the UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) in New York, showed that […]

Carrie Lam: what we know about Hong Kong’s chief executive-elect

She may be Hong Kong’s first female leader, but the election of pro-establishment, Beijing-backed Carrie Lam spells more of the same for those fighting for greater democracy and autonomy in the region. Lam was pronounced chief executive-elect on Sunday, after gaining 777 votes out of a possible 1,194 – more than double that of her […]

UK Lords urge integration of health and social care to cope with ageing population

A proposed new department to integrate bringing together health and adult social care is the centrepiece of a report by the UK’s House of Lords on the future sustainability of the country’s National Health Service. As populations around the world grow proportionally older, health and social care integration is rising up the policy agenda as […]