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Appointing leaders from the private, public and voluntary sectors as non-executives and having Secretaries of State chair Enhanced Departmental Boards has been a hugely important step in helping departments deliver the government’s reform programme and introducing greater efficiency to Whitehall.
Transparency is central to public confidence in reforms to governance across Whitehall. The Government Corporate Governance Code states that the Government Lead Non-Executive will publish a report on progress every year. The reports describe the appointment of non-executives from senior positions outside government. They also cover the setting up of Enhanced Departmental Boards in Whitehall departments and highlight the priority areas identified by the non-executives. They will be of particular interest to ministers and civil servants involved in running government departments, and to those with responsibility for the governance of public bodies more broadly.
Lord Browne’s third annual report looks at progress for the enhanced departmental board model, and the impact of non-executives in their departments and across Whitehall. It concludes that the non-executives have brought an invaluable external perspective to departmental boards and other important projects, and they should continue to be involved in shaping the reform of the civil service. It makes a number of recommendations for building on the progress made in 3 priority areas:
the capability of boards and departments
major projects and procurement
Read a transcript of Lord Browne’s report to the Public Administration Select Committee on the progress of non-executives.