Coronavirus: Sage forecasts 'completely wrong' says IDS
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Half of top civil servants will be moved out of London and more recruits drafted in from working class backgrounds under the shake up. Mr Gove said the scramble for PPE at the start of the pandemic, test availability and the lack of clear data were among the problems that “rose to the surface”. The Cabinet Office Minister said frontline public sector workers had shown “courage and compassion” during the crisis.
“But there were also areas where real weaknesses in government were laid bare,” he added.
“The disease both exposed and exacerbated existing health inequalities. It revealed, once again, how confused lines of accountability and the wrong incentives impede effective delivery, especially when policies cross over from being the responsibility of an individual department to other parts of the public sector.”
Mr Gove said that while some issues are being addressed, “deeper factors that impeded effective delivery” must also be faced up to.
He has drawn up a blueprint for reform that includes “looking beyond London to all corners of the UK” so government becomes “more like the country we serve”.
More civil servants will work outside of the capital and ministers will spend more time away from Westminster.
Performance bonuses for Whitehall mandarins will be overhauled to reward “exceptional” work.
The reforms will also challenge “tired prejudices” about who should be recruited to the civil service, instead “championing a diversity of backgrounds and opinions”.
“We have a mission to level-up our country; to make opportunity more equal,” the plan states. “Talent is spread equally across our nation but opportunity is not.”
“We have to ensure overlooked families and undervalued communities see material change in their lives.”
Mr Gove said the past year had shown how it is “critical” to “crack on” with the Prime Minister’s “powerful vision of a country where opportunities are as universal as the talent and ambition of the British people, and where communities across these islands share in the UK’s success”.
Boris Johnson said the plan will help modernise how Government is run and “transform this country for the better”.
“As we look ahead to the opportunities ahead of us to build back a better and fairer Britain, we owe it to the people of this country to make sure their Government is best equipped to deliver on their priorities,” he said.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case said: “As we look forward now to renewal and recovery, this reform programme created by ministers and officials ensures that we will grip the challenges and opportunities together, as one Government team.”
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