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Former Permanent Secretary to give evidence on Civil Service leadership and reform

26 April 2024

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee holds the third evidence session of its Civil Service Leadership and Reform inquiry, with Jonathan Slater, formerly Permanent Secretary to the Department for Education and head of the Civil Service Policy Profession.

In 2022, Slater authored the report ‘Fixing Whitehall’s broken policy machine’, in which he outlines what he regards to be the flaws in the way the Civil Service works.  

The session will be an opportunity for MPs to question Jonathan Slater on his view that Whitehall policymaking is fundamentally disconnected from both delivery and the people affected by it, and the solutions which he recommends to resolve this issue. 

MPs will explore the issues of churn in the civil service, asking whether problems of retention stem from a civil service culture which undervalues expertise, or from conditions of work such as falling real wages.  

The session will also examine questions concerning socio-economic, geographical, and cognitive diversity across the Civil Service. 

The Committee is also likely to raise questions on criticisms levelled against civil service competence and integrity by former ministers, who have suggested that officials have deliberately resisted Government policy. 


Tuesday 30 April in Thatcher Room, Portcullis House 

At 10.00am

  • Jonathan Slater, Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education (2016-2020)

Further information

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