Government departments making good progress in reforming work practices

Three major government departments are making good progress in building their capabilities and leadership skills after reviews of how they operate were published.

The Cabinet Office unveiled the first three capability reviews, which outline the progress made by each department in question since their performance was first assessed two years ago. The reviews relate to: the Home Office the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The reports show that all three departments have improved on their previous scores and are delivering key improvements in their business areas. Improvements highlighted include a more visible and stronger collective leadership at the Home Office, and a stronger focus on customer service at the DWP.

All Whitehall departments have undergone capability reviews with mixed results. The reviews have previously highlighted failings in people and performance management and leadership.

Cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell said: “The aim of the review programme is to improve the capability of the Civil Service so that it is ready for the challenges of tomorrow and able to deliver better public services. The Civil Service is changing to provide a world-class service… dedicated to improving public services, and we should all be proud of this.”

Each department was reviewed by a specially assembled team drawn from the private sector, the wider public sector and board-level members of other government departments.

The publication of the reports marks the start of the second round of capability reviews for all government departments, which will be carried out during 2008-09.

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