FDA General Secretary Dave Penman took part in a live online discussion on the Guardian Public Leaders Network on Friday lunchtime.
The discussion was on the topic of the civil service reform plan - one year on, and focused on the impact the reform plan has had on civil servants.
Penman was part of the expert panel, alongside Director of the Institute for Government, Peter Thomas; Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield; Director of Communications and Research at Prospect, Sue Ferns; Sean Worth, Strategic Advisor at MHP Communications and a fellow of the think tank, Policy Exchange; and national Vice President of PCS, Paula Brown.
In response to a comments on how civil service reform should take place, Penman said: "Lord Browne has called for a Royal Commission and Bernard Jenkin, Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee has called for a Parliamentary Commission. "It seems clear the Government are against a broader review, Francis Maude made that plain on Tuesday at Policy Exchange and Sir Bob echoed those points yesterday. They see it as a distraction. "I don't think any of the main political parties are grasping the scale of the challenge to public services with such dramatically reduced resources over such a sustained period. The civil service has got to be more than a means to reduce the deficit. They simply cannot keep taking out such massive resource without a profound impact. If they want it all, better public services with dramatically reduced resources, then it needs a more fundamental overhaul."
Read the round-up of the live discussion:
The impact of the civil service reform plan: what the experts sayGuardian Public Leaders Network
Penman was quoted in Civil Service World in print and online, in response to the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) report on public engagement in policy making.
He said: "The report makes a number of welcome recommendations which would enhance the ability of wider society to contribute to policy formulation. However, this must also be resourced and requires political commitment to a broader engagement process. "Implementing policy should never be separate from creating it, and a good policy is one that is well-informed and can be implemented. The FDA firmly believes that the civil service’s vital role of presenting final policy advice to ministers must be retained, ensuring that advice is objective and reflects all the costs, evidence and options available."
Read the full article:
PASC: Train ministers and civil servants in open policy makingCivil Service World
Read the FDA's press release in full: PASC report is right to state that civil servants should remain 'the guardians of the policy process', says FDA
10 June"My civil service employer doesn't think pay equality is important enough"Guardian Public Leaders Network6 June
Wash the dirty Whitehall linen in private, ministerThe Telegraph