Headlines: July 16th, 1999

Innovation and new thinking will be gathered, sifted and publicised by the new Centre for Management and Policy Studies. The vision presented by its Director, Professor Ron Amann, is an institution promoting coherent policy and co-ordinating service delivery. He views the centre as: “A reservoir of knowledge and a cascade of inspiration for busy public servants”

Sir Richard Wilson, Head of the Civil Service, outlining the need for the Centre, admitted that although innovation had been part of the public service scene for a long time, the track record for learning from this wealth of experience was poor. That is set to change, providing that the new organisation, which will incorporate the Civil Service College can become a centre of excellence in training research and in spreading good practice. An early task is to set about capturing and co-ordinating the research that is done in many fields for which government has a responsibility.

The formation of the Centre was announced in the White Paper, Modernising government, published in March 1999. The focus of the centre will be on central government and some view this as a lost opportunity for joining up with the health service and local government.