Magazine article Public Finance

Financial Crisis Prompts Cultural Shift towards Public Sector Ethos

Magazine article Public Finance

Financial Crisis Prompts Cultural Shift towards Public Sector Ethos

Article excerpt

The crisis in the financial sector is likely to restore confidence in a 'public service ethos' within Whitehall, a former head of policy at Number 10 has said.

Geoff Mulgan, now head of the Young Foundation, said a 'major culture shift' was likely in government. He added this would 'make it look rather odd that for quite such a long period of time there was quite such deference, not based on evidence', to particular business methods.

Mulgan, who worked in the Labour government from 1997 to 2004, was giving evidence to the public administration select committee inquiry into good government on October 16.

Committee chair Tony Wright said the inquiry would attempt to 'step back from the daily grind and see if we can distil some of the underlying operating principles of good government that we may have learnt over the years'.

Responding to questions about the handling of the economic crisis, Mulgan said: '[One] thing that perhaps will change irreversibly now is we've been through a long period where probably there was insufficient confidence in a public service ethos and too much deference to business methods in inappropriate fields in relation to policy advice. …

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