In 2006, David Miliband was the minister for local government in the UK. He announced that ‘CPA’ – the public sector regulatory regime was to cease. His new idea was to replace it with something that was more customer-focused. At the time of the announcement, the public sector press was full of doubts about whether this new initiative, which the minister called ‘double devolution’ would produce substantive action.

The way it worked was the minister consulted with everyone, but of course many of these people and institutions were part of the problem; certainly it was difficult for many to envisage a world that was completely outside their current frame of reference (you can’t solve today’s problems with the thinking that created them).

On 2nd May 2006, John Seddon wrote a letter of advice to the minister. It was an open letter and is reproduced here.