UK government departments are already implementing substantial change programmes; but the scale of the challenges and persistent weaknesses require a reform plan that applies right across the Civil Service.
The Civil Service plays a crucial role in modern British life, supporting the wellbeing, security and prosperity of the country. The UK’s budget deficit means that departments are implementing significant reductions in public spending and resources. At the same time they are supporting the Government’s radical programme of economic and public service reform. All departments are already implementing substantial change programmes; but the scale of the challenges and persistent weaknesses require a reform plan that applies right across the Civil Service.
This Plan sets out a series of specific and practical actions for reform, which, when implemented, will lead to real change for the Civil Service. It is a working document and the first stage of a continuing programme of reform.
This Reform Plan identifies specific changes needed across the Civil Service. It is a working action plan that
sets out key actions. These are not exhaustive, and will be regularly updated and reviewed on a continuing
basis. Chapters 1, 4 and 5 are relevant to the majority of civil servants, whilst chapters 2 and 3 focus specifically
on policy and its implementation. The plan is based heavily on feedback from many civil servants, drawing
on what frustrates and motivates them, as well as wide external consultation.
The UK Civil Service serves three Governments, the national Government in Westminster and the Governments of Scotland and Wales, and it must ensure it meets the needs of each. Elements of this Plan will apply to all civil servants, whilst the Governments in Scotland and Wales have, or will have, complementary plans, setting out how they are equipping their workforces to meet the challenges we are collectively facing. The Northern Ireland Civil Service has been a separate organisation since 1921.