Civil service reform has been a core element of the coalition government's constitutional agenda, with Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude publishing his reform plan in June 2012. In September 2012, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) was commissioned by Maude to carry out a review into how other civil services work, with a particular focus on the accountability structures used in other countries. IPPR is due to report its findings soon, which will provide the minister with policy advice to inform thinking on future reform. IPPR's Associate Director for Politics and Power, Guy Lodge, is heading the research. He will be discussing the results of his comparative investigation, joined by respondent Sir Leigh Lewis.
Respondent Sir Leigh Lewis was most recently appointed chair of the Bill of Rights Commission, which reported in December 2012. Previously, he was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2005 until his retirement from the Civil Service at the end of 2010. From 2003 to 2005 he was Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing and Counter-terrorism in the Home Office and was in that role at the time of the 7/7 attacks.