The Origins of the Next Steps Programme
There is always an element of arbitrariness in purporting to pinpoint the ‘origins’ of anything. The official birthday of the Next Steps programme was in February 1988. But this event, like all birthdays, has a prehistory—biological and ancestral. Next Steps was conceived some time after 1986, when the Prime Minster’s Efficiency Unit was commissioned to undertake a scrutiny of management in the civil service. It has putative parents (Mrs Thatcher and Sir Robin Ibbs—though they are perhaps best regarded as surrogates for the three officials whose names appear as authors of the Next Steps report), at least one identifiable grandparent (Lord Rayner), a great grandfather (Lord Fulton), and even nannies, (Sir Peter Kemp, who was the first Next Steps Project Manager, then Richard Mottram, who succeeded him in July 1992).
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