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Government Departments On Track to Meet Challenges of the Future

Government Departments On Track to Meet Challenges of the Future

CABINET OFFICE News Release (CAB083/08) issued by The Government News Network on 17 July 2008

Government Departments On Track to Meet Challenges of the Future
Three major departments of state are making good progress in building their capabillity to meet the demands of public service delivery in the 21st century, the Government announced today.

The Cabinet Office today published the first three new Capability Review reports which outline the progress made by each department in question - the Home Office, Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - since their performance was first assessed two years ago.

The Progress and Next Steps reports show that all three departments have improved on their previous scores and are delivering key improvements in their business areas.

Particular improvements highlighted in the reports include a more visible and stronger collective leadership at the Home Office, which has led to a clearer direction for the department and the successful achievement of its key targets. DCSF's leadership team has, through the "Children's Plan", also brought clarity to the role of the department and the services that it provides. DWP, for its part, was found to have strengthened the focus on customer service in both policy development and delivery of service.

Sir Gus O' Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, said:

"The aim of the Capability Review programme is to improve the capability of the Civil Service so that it is ready for the challenges of tomorrow and able to deliver better public services.

"I am very pleased that the three Progress and Next Steps reports we've published today show that departments are improving. The reports provide compelling evidence that they are acting on the findings of two years ago.

"The Civil Service is changing to provide a world-class service which is dedicated to improving public services and we should all be proud of this."

Each department was reviewed by a specially assembled team of reviewers drawn from the private sector, the wider public sector and board-level members of other government departments.

The publication of today's reports marks the start of the second round of Capability Reviews for all government departments which will be undertaken during 2008/9.

Notes to editors

1. The Progress and Next Steps reports are published at

2. For queries concerning the Capability Review process, please contact the Cabinet Office Press Office on 020 7276 2533 or visit

3. In May 2007 the Civil Service Steering Board commissioned the
Sunningdale Institute to carry out an independent evaluation of the Capability Reviews programme. The aim of the evaluation was to see if Capability Reviews are driving the changes in departments which the Cabinet Secretary intended, and to inform the next stages of Civil Service reform. A team of five professors from the Sunningdale Institute carried out the evaluation and they published their findings on 9 November 2007.

The press notice and full report can be found on the Sunningdale Institute's website at

Cabinet Office Press Office 22 Whitehall LONDON SW1A 2WH

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