CIPFA C.Co has been blown away by the incredible work that the public sector and local government in particular has undertaken in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic. Councils up and down the country have been supporting the front-line response through remote and agile working, the coordination of volunteer networks, the innovative use of technology, the sharing of relevant data and close working with key partners. C.Co has seen this first-hand, working remotely with some of its North West clients to support that response effort.

When the situation improves and public sector working returns to a more recognisable pattern of work, does our pre-pandemic way of working need to return also? Although referring to the February flooding, one Chief Executive we’ve been working closely with told his workforce during a transformation workshop that “we’re great in a crisis, if only we could apply the same response, speed and rigour for business as usual we’d crack this”. At C.Co we are now applying the same thinking to the coronavirus situation.

Can the public sector’s response become the new norm? Transformation programmes can often fail because the day job gets in the way, or the decision-making takes too long or financial pressures are too immediate for a longer-term plan. We want to challenge the public sector to consider the scale of change that can be achieved where there is a critical need; to consider how much was delivered in a very short space of time in response to coronavirus; to accept that remote and agile working can be delivered, leading to a more considered use of technology, buildings and assets; and to acknowledge the skills, flexibility, integrity and resilience of their workforce.

C.Co is well placed to support the analysis and development of post-coronavirus working and transformation and welcomes a discussion with all organisations on how it can support this activity. If you would like to get in touch please email us at