First, a warning from Sir Bob Kerslake – keep focused on delivering for the current government rather than simply prepare for the next. In 2009 many quangos did themselves no favours by too obviously courting potential new ministers. Our new report on pre-election contacts recommends that permanent secretaries work out how to include their arm’s-length bodies in the formal pre-election contacts process. But bodies need to make sure they keep key stakeholders on side – those with few friends find themselves nearer the bonfire as Nick Timmins’s report on the demise of the Audit Commission and the National Policing Improvement Agency shows. Second, there was a general view that continued austerity post-election would bring structural change back onto the agenda – and public bodies would not be exempt. The efficiency measures that had been taken in the first parliament were just the start. Third, the Cabinet Office promised more flexible triennial reviews – fitter for purpose, with a bigger peer review element. There have been complaints about the clunkiness and time consuming nature of the review process – which has resulted in few changes. There were some messages from the chairs too. In a session on public appointments, chairs expressed […]

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