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Reforming the Civil Service: the Next Steps report, 30 years on

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Last Tuesday 22 May at King's College London, Kate Jenkins, author of the Next Steps report on Civil Service reform (1988), gave a fascinating insider's account of the report's creation. She described how it was steered between civil service heads and politicians including the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - and how the press perception of the report's progress at various points was wildly at odds with her and her team's own experience. Sir Richard Mottram, whose 40-year career in the Civil Service saw him serve as Permanent Secretary in five departments starting in 1992, provided a response with his own recollections, and reflected on how the report's main legacy, the creation of agencies, had reached a high point in recent years and was potentially now beginning to recede. Dr Andrew Blick and Dr Catherine Haddon (chairing), brought historians' perspectives to the discussion. The audio is also available on iTunes.

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