Home truths

Think tank: Adam Smith Institute

Author(s): Tim Ambler

August 2, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Adam Smith Institute looks at reforming the Home Office.

This report proposes a number of reforms to improve the efficiency and value for money of the Home Office. This paper is part of the Adam Smith Institute’s “Reforming the Civil Service” series. The Home Office has responsibility for a number of functions that are currently performed inefficiently and represent poor value for taxpayer money; The 2021/2022 performance report admits that the Home Office had failed on all four of its delivery objectives, in spite of a large volume of plans, strategies and consultations; 23 out of the 29 Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) identified by the Cabinet Office as associated with the Home Office should be closed; The Home Office is unlike other government departments in that it has no executive agencies. If it wants to make progress on achieving its 4 delivery objectives, one or more executive agencies should focus on each one; Each agency should have key performance targets and outcome comparisons; The STAR department (4,943 staff) and Digital, Data and Technology (1,806 staff) should be closed and staff released; The Police College should become independent along the same lines of Sandhurst and police officers would be better trained as a result; The Home Office core covering policy, legislation and the supervision of executive agencies should number 1,000 staff plus another 1,000 to deal with matters inherited from the Ministry of Justice which should be closing down; Taken together, the recommendations in this report would produce a total headcount saving of approximately 6,991.