By David Marsh, David Richards, Martin J. Smith
This can be the 1st finished exam of the altering family among ministers and civil servants within the united kingdom given that 1979. Drawing on proof compiled from greater than one hundred fifty interviews, this ebook offers extraordinary perception into the realm of Conservative executive. The authors additionally learn the exterior pressures exerted by means of elements reminiscent of the ecu Union, they usually finish through arguing that, regardless of contemporary claims concerning the finish of the Whitehall version, some of the previous beneficial properties of the British method stay.
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Additional info for Changing Patterns of Governance in the United Kingdom: Reinventing Whitehall? (Transforming Government)
For example, is it improper for an ofﬁcial to whistle-blow to another department or to Parliament if he/she feels a minister is acting improperly? Many ofﬁcials think it is unacceptable (see Barker and Wilson 1997). Indeed, Chapman (1988: 305) quotes the Establishment’s Ofﬁcer’s Guide which highlights the complacency of the ofﬁcial view of ethics: (It has never been) thought necessary to lay down a precise code of conduct because civil servants jealously maintain their professional standards. In practice, the distinctive character of the British Civil Service depends on the existence and maintenance of a general code 30 Changing Patterns of Governance in the United Kingdom of conduct which, although to some extent intangible and unwritten, is of very real inﬂuence.
Another ofﬁcial saw the relationship working well when it was one of ‘give and take’. Ofﬁcials are restrained by the culture that empowers them; they accept ministerial authority in two senses: the minister is the author of action but under that cover and the cover of ministerial responsibility, they are delegates and implementers, with all that implies, of ministerial authority (see Chapter 7). 3 Competing cultural frameworks Managerialism Traditional Whitehall Culture Values Actions Institutions Efﬁciency Effectiveness Economy Integrity Neutrality Elitism Can-doer Policy implementer Policy adviser Fact imparter Flexible/and fragmented Hierarchical/and uniﬁed public service ethos and the new culture of managerialism.
Typically, one ofﬁcial said that Benn would agree a line in a Cabinet committee and then argue against that position in full Cabinet. ’ His former Cabinet colleagues concurred. One claimed: ‘Benn had one or two allies in the Cabinet but he was largely isolated. ’ Another said his contribution had no clout in Cabinet, ‘none at all’. Thus, in Civil Service terms, ofﬁcials were not undermining the rules of the game. The Benn case is signiﬁcant because of what it reveals about the nature of Civil Service culture.