Recent articles in ‘Public Servant’

Here are a few of the articles I have published in ‘Public Servant’ monthly magazine over the past couple of years. More can be found on their website by searching.

Was Baby P failed by the ‘joined-up’ system?
Colin Talbot suggests the tragedy of Baby P is an illustration of what can happen when disparate organisations are merged for the sake of a joined-up approach. Specialist expertise is sidelined, and ‘group-think’ leads to disastrous decisions

PBR 08: Targeted, timely, temporary – don’t think so
Cutting VAT could turn out to be worse than useless if deflation kicks in, says Colin Talbot. And the optimistic assumption that the recession is going to be short and shallow is one heck of a gamble

Rescue runs into regulation riddle
Brick after brick has been removed from the mechanisms put in place to stop a financial crisis turning into a catastrophe. The clamour for re-regulation is deafening, argues Colin Talbot

Darling gambles something will turn up
The Chancellor’s optimistic forecasts that the economy will pick up are looking increasingly implausible as the impact of the credit crunch becomes more dramatic, says Colin Talbot 

What goes around comes around
If the government is talking up decentralisation right now, you can guarantee that centralisation will be back in fashion soon, says Colin Talbot. In fact, despite the rhetoric of localism, plans to merge police forces, NHS trusts and government departments suggest that the wheel has already turned in favour of aggregation.

The efficiency of falling productivity
Conflicting evidence of government efficiencies presents a puzzle even to the government. Colin Talbot, who chairs Public Service Events’ Efficiency Challenge conference in London today, looks for some answers

Skills for government?
Whitehall is broke and badly needs fixing according to MPs’ innocent-sounding Skills for Government report. Leadership is failing the civil service. The government’s drive on ‘delivery’ has yet to revive performance in major departments. Colin Talbot looks for solutions

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