• Jo Clift Consulting


    Making Government and Parliament Easy


  • Understanding Govt services


    I help organisations interact with Government and Parliament and get the best out of those relationships, whether it's selling work or selling ideas or creating lasting and trusting relationships.


    I work with a wide range of organisations from large high tech firms to small third sector bodies.



    Helping you work with and engage Government & public sector stakeholders

    Understanding Brexit

    What will Brexit mean for your sector and how can you influence the thinking in Whitehall

    Strategic & corporate communications 

    Helping you to represent who you are and what you want to achieve; tailoring communications for public sector stakeholders

    How does Government work

    When you want to know how government & Whitehall work & how to speak their language

    Getting impact for academia in Whitehall and Parliament

    Helping you get your voice heard in westminster

    Training & coaching

    I provide a range of courses:

    Understanding Government

    Select Committee training

    Resilience building for you and your teams

    Media training



  • About Jo Clift





    I have two decades of experience working at a senior level at the heart of Government, mainly in the Cabinet Office. I have worked directly with over fifteen Ministers.


    I am at my best dealing with complex situations that require strategic analysis and careful handling involving multiple senior stakeholders. One of my key skills is that I am able to find a path through problems by creating excellent networks and relationships - using fine political judgement with stakeholders whilst focusing on the key deliverables.


    After six years in Whitehall as a senior communications specialist, including as Press Secretary to Lord Falconer (Millennium minister), I wanted grow my expertise in change management, so I joined Deloitte Consulting for two years as a senior change consultant. This gave me a great set of change skills and valuable insight into the private sector, but I found that I missed the strategic aspect of working at the heart of Government so returned to lead the shared corporate services work across whitehall.


    As government lead for Shared Corporate Services, I created a new model for sharing back office services. To do this I engaged directly with cab sec, number 10 and senior stakeholders across Whitehall and the public sector . I led and created the strategy for cross cutting shared services which is still used today and has achieved over £10million savings.


    I led the ICT strategy for the Coalition Government and then set up and ran the Whitehall unit for managing the appointments to Boards of public bodies. I also led the new legislation to combine two ombudsman organisations.


    I am now working as a consultant with organisations who want to engage and communicate better with government to achieve their goals.


    Specialties: Understanding government and how to engage with departments to get things done. Working closely with Ministers and senior stakeholders to achieve and sustain goals. Sensitive and strategic communications.







  • Helping you understand and engage westminster

    https://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/opinion/lurching-between-short-term-crises-takes-its-toll-civil-servants Ten years ago, Britain was experiencing a series of terror attacks, including two car bombs that had been safely detonated in central London. Gordon Brown had just moved into No. 10...
    Public inquiries in the UK have a tendency to be long, expensive and not necessarily conclusive. Whilst inquiries are generally set up in good faith by an administration who is keen to get to the heart of a matter, the climate for inquiries these days can be harsh. The inquiry for child sexual...
    However well you know your subject, select committees can be an intimidating experience. In recent years some select committees have become quite confrontational in their approach to witnesses. But with a bit of preparation, you can make the best of a challenging situation. Here are my top tips...
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  • Jo Clift

    My CV

    Cabinet Office


    Head of Ombudsman Reform 2014 – 2016

    I was invited to to lead the creation of a single public Ombudsman organisation, combining the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman and the local Government Ombudsman. I worked directly to Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Minister, and liaised closely with the Houses of Parliament, Ministers across Whitehall and the senior stakeholders in the Ombudsman community to create the legal and policy framework for the new organisation.


    I wrote and published the government’s consultation paper on the reform. I was responsible for analyzing and creating the Government’s response to the consultation and then heading the team that created the detailed policy work for the draft Bill, working with parliamentary counsel lawyers and across government to get agreement on complex issues.


    Head of Centre for Public Appointments 2013 – 2014

    I was invited to set up and run the Government’s Centre of Excellence for board appointments to Public Bodies.

    I chaired weekly meetings with Prime Minister’s Office & Cabinet Office Minister and worked closely with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and Whitehall departments to establish a successful unit which coordinated these very high level appointments across Whitehall (eg Chair and Board of Ofcom) and ensured the best candidates were appointed. One result of my work was that we increased the female representation on public boards by 5%.


    Deputy Government Chief Information Officer & lead for UK Government ICT Strategy 2011 – 2013

    Following the 2010 election I led the development, publication and delivery of the Coalition ICT Strategy with partners from public and private sectors including strategy for use of cloud technologies. I was promoted to Director to run a restructuring exercise of the unit.

    Led and managed team of 20; established and ran the Pan-Govt CIO Delivery Board and supporting Governance arrangements to implement the ICT strategy

    Identified 1.2bn ICT savings across Govt

    • Personally advised Minister for Cabinet Office on which programmes should be stopped or reshaped
    • Reviewed over 300 Central Government IT projects (value £1m to £50m)
    • Led a team of 15 civil servants and 10 consultants to complete the work within 10 weeks following post election commitment by the Government


    Head of Government Shared Corporate Services 2007 – 2010

    I defined and embedded a completely new model of sharing corporate services across Whitehall. Led to Dept for Work & Pensions providing HR and Finance functions for Cabinet Office and Dept for Education, saving over £8million, and provided the model for shared services which exists today in government.

    To achieve this I worked directly with the Head of the Civil Service, Heads of the key Whitehall departments, Number 10 and senior representatives from the private sector. I also created, ran and published the first pan-Government Corporate Services Benchmarking exercise

    Working with the private sector, I used my knowledge of how Government works to create a blueprint for Government’s use of cloud technology, including a prototype of the Government Applications Store.


    Stakeholder and Engagement Manager, Shared Services (Pan-Govt) 2005 – 2007

    Working across multiple departments and within the private sector to promote and embed the government’s shared services agenda


    Deloitte Consulting Change and Communications Manager 2002 - 2004


    I led the Change Management work stream at Lambeth Borough Council for the Joint Service Centre project, the first major customer-centric face-to-face shared service in Lambeth.


    I led the Change/Comms Team of eight for to support a change programme for 18,000 employees at the Southern Health Board (Irish Health Authority).


    I led part of the change management work stream for a new £10 Million Web-based Finance and Time accounting system for a consultancy practice (4,000 staff).


    The Cabinet Office 1995 – 2002

    Change and Communications Manager, Cross Government Ministerial briefing system

    • Responsible for working with Number 10, across Whitehall & leading a team of consultants to introduce some new working methods and technology to enable ministers to have up to date briefing on key government matters


    Private Secretary to the e-Envoy, Office of the e-Envoy

    • Running a unit of 300 engaged with representing the UK govt abroad on digital matters and leading on digital policy across government           


    Personal Press Secretary to Lord Falconer on matters relating to the Millennium UK wide


    Head of Communications, The BSE Inquiry

    • Advising Lord Phillips and the committee, leading on all comms for the Inquiry including digital


    Press Officer, The Cabinet Office and Prime Minister’s Press Officer

    • Advising Ministers on a range of PR issues including Civil Service Reform, Ministers Pay/Pensions, Govt use of ICT etc



    BA Honours Degree (English and Drama)




    UK govt representative (OECD Paris, Mexico, South Korea) and experienced public speaker

    Board member of Centre17, a performing arts company

    Trustee, The Road Safety Trust

    Tutor on Knowledge Management course, Civil Service College

    Tutor on Communications and Media Handling for Civil Service Leaders course

    Chair of the Board, Grange Court Management Company







    07904 10 88 66

    Jo Clift

    Jo Clift

    Jo Clift Consulting




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