Chapter 3: Management and the Civil Service: The Rayner Approach
In 1980, management was not a glamorous subject. It ranked low in the list of topics the senior Civil Service was interested in. It was down with premises and cars as a task for people who could not cope with a thinking job. Management was for them, not for us. Senior civil servants were kindly to managers as long as no one expected them to do the managerial jobs. One senior oﬃcial was told in an appraisal interview that he would do a very good job of running the National Health Service but he would not make a Permanent Secretary. There had been ﬂurries of management fashions before, training courses included sensible advice from older executives on remembering to tell your staﬀ when you wanted them to work late and from an accountant on how to read a balance sheet. The innovations following Fulton and the 1970 Heath government White Paper had produced some changes, but the Civil Service, as an institution, was not managed. It was controlled and administered but not managed. Many people in the Civil Service seemed not to have grasped the point about management: it was a means of achieving objectives, using resources eﬀectively and improving the way organisations worked. For the public service it had the potential of breaking out of the circular routine of cuts in resources and inadequate services using outdated systems. RAYNER AND SCRUTINIES Rayner set out to demonstrate that using some simple techniques and a good deal of common...
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