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Reforming the Civil Service: the Fulton Report, 50 years on

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Room 2.03

Bush House (South Wing)

King's College London

Strand

WC2R 1ES

United Kingdom

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The Report of the Committee on the Civil Service, commissioned by the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and chaired by Lord Fulton, appeared in June 1968. It was critical of the underlying philosophy of Whitehall, suggesting that the Civil Service operated as a “cult” of the generalist or amateur, that it lacked skilled managers, and overlooked scientists, engineers and other specialists for promotion. It made important recommendations for changes in the structure and practices of the Civil Service, some of which were implemented while others were not – and the themes it raised are still debated today.

This is a unique opportunity for historians and practitioners, past and present, to reflect together on how reform comes about in government and how it works - there will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion. Drinks and refreshments will be served. One of a series of Whitehall Anniversary events in 2018.

Providing perspective on the Report and its impact and significance:

Richard Wilson, Baron Wilson of Dinton is a crossbench peer and former Head of the Civil Service (1998-2002). His 36-year career there began in 1966.

Professor Kevin Theakston, Professor of British Government at the University of Leeds, and co-author of William Armstrong and British Policy Making (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). Armstrong was the inaugural head of the Civil Service Department, the establishment of which Fulton recommended, and was charged with implementing the Report.

Dr Catherine Haddon, Senior Fellow of the Institute for Government will chair.

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Room 2.03

Bush House (South Wing)

King's College London

Strand

WC2R 1ES

United Kingdom

View Map

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