Despite parliamentary criticism and repeated commitments to improve, key data about arms-length bodies has not been published since 2021.
Some will take the view that someone’s tax bill is their own private business. This is hard to maintain when the person concerned is Chancellor of the Exchequer.
No private individual should be financially ruined by seeking access to material which was purchased with taxpayers’ money on the basis that it would be open to the public.
“It’s simply a reality that all phones – including government ones – are easily hacked,” a Minister told me. “The difference with government phones is that they’re regularly tracked so we know about it sooner when it’s obvious – which it usually isn’t.”
Civil servants drew up a scheme to transfer a lot of responsibility to the Civil Service. The new team may regret signing up to it.
The Government should learn from how Johnson got the trains to run on time when he was Mayor of London.
Like Tsar Nicholas II, he may learn that taking personal command can solve nothing and leave one nowhere to hide.
At a time of pressure on public spending, delivering efficiency savings is especially important.
These two institutions at the very centre of Government do not appear to be operating the way they should.
Critics have a point when they note that, so far, Ministers’ rhetoric has been appreciably more ambitious than its actions.
These moves are like those of a boxer who throws his arms round his opponent in an attempt to save himself from a knock-out blow.
It was meant to be a home but has become the heart of government. With this split personality, no wonder a frat house culture took hold of it.
Blair stepped down shortly after the cash-for-honours debacle. Will history repeat in every sense?
With the Assembly elections in May fast approaching, it is clear that there is a finite time horizon for these negotiations to bear fruit.
A new culture of inquiry and challenge is essential if government is to be better prepared for what ministers cannot be blamed for failing to anticipate.