WRR launches new project ‘The Expert Government’

The Covid pandemic, public housing and the energy transition are among the issues that have prompted growing calls for increased government intervention and substantive guidance in recent years. There are serious doubts, however, as to whether the government still has sufficient expertise to fulfil this more substantive and guiding role. ‘The Expert Government’ project is focused on examining what in-house knowledge, skills and competences the government needs to possess or regain.

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Image: ©WRR

For the best part of two decades, severe cutbacks were made in public administration and the idea prevailed that government should be modest in its ambitions. Now that the days of austerity are over, there are renewed calls for a government that actively plays a substantive and guiding role. The question, however, is whether the government has the knowledge and expertise to successfully fulfil such a role. This advisory project therefore addresses the following question: given the major challenges facing the government and society, what type of in-house expertise does the government need to possess or regain? And how do we ensure that the government not only employs and retains good people, but also has the capacity and procedures to guarantee that their knowledge and skills are put to effective use? The WRR is addressing these questions from the perspective of national as well as local government.