A new role at the Department of Work and Pensions is currently being advertised on the Civil Service recruitment website – for a deputy director in the “Ministerial Policy and Delivery Unit”. The specification reads: “This new role is going to be at the heart of [DWP’s] agenda. The successful candidate will support the department and ministers directly on policy development and delivery across the full range of issues that the department deals with. This is not a traditional policy role though but one which is at the leading edge of civil service reform.” The creation of a ministerial policy and delivery unit under the director of strategy and private office is similar to a model a number of departments are adopting, seemingly at the behest of ministers. In our October report, Organising Policy we noted that this model had already been adopted in Defra and the Department for Education, and some others were thinking of following suit. Creating capacity to align the department with ministerial priorities, and quality assure and progress chase, was identified as a need in our 2011 report Making Policy Better that reflected a criticism from ministers in the previous administration that they felt departments did […]

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