Press Notice 45, Session 2006-07

18 July 2007


Sir Michael Barber was the founder and Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit from 2001 to 2005. Described by Ken Follett as “the most powerful civil servant in the land”, he has recently published the book Instruction to Deliver - his memoirs of his time inside Number 10, but also a critique of the way the Civil Service works, and a blueprint for how to give more power to the Prime Minister.

Sir Michael’s book tells of a Civil Service which constrains ministers through “excessive risk aversion”, “exaggeration of the likely difficulties”, “slowing down or watering down implementation”, or “last but not least, simple incompetence”. On Thursday, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) will examine Sir Michael’s criticisms, and his proposals for overcoming them - notably the creation of a new Prime Minister’s Department.

The evidence session will take place at 10.00am on Thursday 19 July in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House.


Committee Membership is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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