Public Affairs: Soap Box - Daniel Cambers, consultant, Insight Public Affairs

As we get used to seeing David Cameron and Nick Clegg sitting together in Parliament, all eyes should now be on the dynamics of the coalition.

A sharper cabinet committee system has been revived, moving away from the perceived 'sofa government' of the New Labour era. Most important of all is the Coalition Committee, to which policy disputes between Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers are referred. This body has already been called into action over the NHS reform plans announced last week.

Another key area is the delivery of policy reform across Whitehall. The Efficiency and Reform Group, chaired by Ian Watmore, has been established to drive deficit-reduction plans. All departments also have until the autumn to set up 'enhanced departmental boards' with non-executive directors, drawn mainly from the private sector, overseeing delivery and even with the power to remove permanent secretaries.

While it is desirable for these boards to include people with experience of running large organisations, should they be weighted so heavily in favour of the private sector? The criteria for selecting non-executives set no restrictions on conflicts of interest. Non-executive appointments need to be transparent and representative of all interests.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in