The answers to Dominic Cummings’s critique

Think tank: Institute for Government

Author(s): Bronwen Maddox; Alex Thomas

June 2, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government provides details on 10 essential reforms to government.

In his seven hours of testimony to a Commons committee, the prime minister’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, laid out a portrait of a chaotic government failing in its basic functions. Some of that is due to the government’s newness when the pandemic hit; some to Boris Johnson’s character and style of management, and some to failings deep in the structure and process of modern British government. Even after Cummings’s exit, the Johnson team, particularly Michael Gove, have displayed commitment to changing the civil service. By learning from Cummings’s mistakes – dialling down the antagonism and being clearer about remedies – ministers now have a better chance to make reforms stick. This report – drawing on Cummings’s evidence and longstanding IfG themes – sets out what they should do.