Proposals set out to reform civil service
Civil service reform plans will shape a post-austerity Whitehall that is smaller and more unified, the head of the civil service has claimed.
Jointly launched by minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude and head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake, the proposals set out a series of actions to equip a reduced civil service to meet rising consumer expectations and ongoing financial and economic challenges.
Francis Maude said: ‘To succeed in the future we need a civil service that is faster, more flexible and more innovative – better able to deliver this Government’s ambitious programme of reforms to public services on which we all rely.
‘Because of the size of the deficit we inherited in 2010 our civil service is smaller today than at any time since the Second World War.’
According to Sir Bob Kerslake, who also serves as permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, ‘the civil service of the future will be smaller and more unified.’
‘Civil servants around the country have told us that they want change and I believe that they will embrace this plan fully. It will enable them to carry on doing what they do best, which is to deliver essential public services which make a real difference to people’s lives,’ the DCLG chief added.
In urging central government departments to become more innovative, less hierarchical and place a greater focus on outcomes, the worst performing 10% members of the senior civil service would be tackled, while the top 25% of top managers would be recognised under a new appraisal system.
However, top civil servants union the FDA said the challenge by 2015 of matching resources to workload in central government would be profound, given the many problems facing the country.
Bosses group the CBI welcomed moves to open up public services to competition, arguing shared services represented a specific area where efficiencies and performance were being improved.
CBI director for competitive markets, Matthew Fell said the ‘Cabinet Office needs to direct all government departments not already doing so to sign up to existing shared services arrangements in the short term and set out detailed plans to establish independent shared service centres to cater for the whole civil service in the future.’
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