Enhancing policy delivery: normalizing four critical contributions

Abstract

The desire to be more responsive to the demands of citizens complicates the relationship between Secretary of State and Permanent Secretary and has an impact on policy delivery capacity. This article considers four separate contributions to effective policy delivery in a context of increasing and increasingly variegated demands: those provided by the Secretary of State, Permanent Secretary, special political adviser (SpAd) and chair of the departmental board. Drawing on insights garnered through a series of interviews with key policy actors, we draw attention to the SpAd bridging function between Secretary of State and Permanent Secretary, which eases the tension between ministerial urgency for outcomes versus the officials’ realistic appraisal of ‘smoothing out’ the challenges to policy delivery. The departmental board’s stewardship of policy delivery, meanwhile, is minimal due to the lack of chairmanship by the Secretary of State, requiring professional chairs to be appointed to this role.

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Kakabadse, A.P., Kakabadse, N. Enhancing policy delivery: normalizing four critical contributions. Br Polit (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41293-021-00161-z

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Keywords

  • Chair
  • Departmental board
  • Permanent secretary
  • Policy delivery
  • Secretary of state
  • Special political adviser (SpAd)