"Civil service reform is not a demand for a smaller state; it is needed to improve state capacity and effectiveness. Of course, technocratic intervention alone is not enough to fix the government’s deficits. This is not a case for eliminating the generalist civil service but radically reforming it; ending the monopoly (25 per cent of top bureaucratic positions should be lateral entries), introducing specialisation (generalist civil servants must specialise after 10 years of field experience and have longer tenures), weeding out people (replicating the colonel threshold of the army for early retirement if not shortlisted for promotion), sharper performance management (it is mathematically impossible for 95 per cent to be outstanding. The across-the-board pay increases are unfair), ending ageism (we need to give top jobs to people when they are 45 rather than 58 years old), giving the top roles to functional services (for example, adopting the police commissioner system nationally), de-layering (eliminating additional and special secretaries) and rationalising (cutting the number of Central ministries to 25)."
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