Many civil servants deserve axe

#1
Yes yes we all know its obvious, but is never said on fear of their Unions wrath. But according to ex-trade minister and ex-CBI chief, the public sector can be cut in half and provide better service, and that the nobody fears the sack even from poor work standards. Didnt Brown say something about this not long ago then quickly swept it under the rug?

Source

BBC said:
Ex-trade minister Lord Digby Jones says he was "amazed" to discover how many civil servants "deserved the sack".

He told a committee of MPs he thought the civil service could "frankly... be done with half as many" people.

The ex-CBI chief described being a junior minister as "one of the most dehumanising and depersonalising experiences" anyone could have.

Lord Jones spent a year as a minister as part of Gordon Brown's original "government of all the talents".

Lord Jones said he applauded the practice of bringing outside specialists into government by making them peers and called it "an excellent idea".

He described the civil service as "honest, stuffed full of decent people who work hard".

But he added: "Frankly the job could be done with half as many, it could be more productive, more efficient, it could deliver a lot more value for money for the taxpayer.

"I was amazed, quite frankly, at how many people deserved the sack and yet that was the one threat that they never ever worked under, because it doesn't exist."

Transcend factionalism

Lord Jones' period as a minister proved colourful and at times controversial.

He told the public administration committee the job of junior minister was "one of the most dehumanising and depersonalising experiences a human being can have. The whole system is designed to take the personality, the drive and the initiative out of a junior minister".

Lord Digby Jones stepped down as a government minister in Gordon Brown's reshuffle in October, saying it was not a judgement on Mr Brown's performance.

The former CBI chief was one of the outside experts brought in by Mr Brown when he became prime minister.

His appointment was controversial at the time because he was not a member of the Labour Party.

He countered that criticism by saying that the job of promoting trade and investment "should transcend the factionalism of party politics".

Lord Jones has been involved in some controversy during his time in the job - notably when he expressed concerns about plans to tax "non-domiciled" foreigners in Britain.
 
#2
Yes,this was the thrust of a thread I started some time back along the lines of'The public sector,time to wield the axe?'.

As the civil service has been politicised and can be counted upon to vote for Brown at the next election,don't expect any cuts in their numbers,in fact quite the contary.
 
#4
Stand by for outrage from the CS.

Up here 30% of the population are employed by the Govt in some way, shape or form, which just sounds way too high.

On top of that I'd say that a lot of the work done is actually pointless or has no effective output.

- remembering a quote from a local govt CS years ago when layoffs were being threatened for teachers and a teacher suggested reducing numbers in County Hall... " You can't make my members redundant, they are required to manage the reduction in teaching positions...".

Suggestion:

"Blank sheet" independent analysis of outputs required from Govt followed by study on organisation & manning requirement.

Increase in subsequent CS pay to attarct suitable calibre individuals.

Remainder redeployed into the private sector to add to national productivity.

Yes I know, simplistic in the extreme, too many vested interests for a start ....
 
#5
Pacifist_Jihadist said:
........ He told a committee of MPs he thought the civil service could "frankly... be done with half as many" people. .......
Though it's like the prisons and mental hospitals; we all know that half of them don't need to be there ......


.... but it would take a clever man to know which half.
 
#6
Trossachs said:
Stand by for outrage from the CS.

We don't really do outrage in the CS!

Up here 30% of the population are employed by the Govt in some way, shape or form, which just sounds way too high.

Meaning 'up here' 70% of the population aren't employed by the Government. Remember to include local government employees in the Government employees you speak of.

On top of that I'd say that a lot of the work done is actually pointless or has no effective output.

You proof of that is based on...?

- remembering a quote from a local govt CS years ago when layoffs were being threatened for teachers and a teacher suggested reducing numbers in County Hall... " You can't make my members redundant, they are required to manage the reduction in teaching positions...".

Suggestion:

"Blank sheet" independent analysis of outputs required from Govt followed by study on organisation & manning requirement.

Do you mean appoint private sector organisations and/or consultants to do this work? One of the biggest costs in the Civil Service of these individuals appointed for their specialist knowledge where none exists in a department.

Increase in subsequent CS pay to attarct suitable calibre individuals.

I agree with this statement! You could also increase the pay of those existing civil servants who are doing a good job - though i would say that!

Remainder redeployed into the private sector to add to national productivity.

You can't reploy the remainder into the privtae sector without there being the jobs in the private sector in the first place to absorb them. That isn't the case at present.

Yes I know, simplistic in the extreme, too many vested interests for a start ....
 
#7
Hmm - never mind the number of Civil Servants - look at the number of Quangos and their budgets. Can anybody actually say how many there are, how much they cost, what overlap is there etc. But be careful because they will need to set up a Quango to answer the question.
 
#8
The civil service is a strange beast, lots of myths about it, and anyone who dares admitting to belonging to it finds themselves derided. I think there is space for a lot of cuts in some areas, particularly the local govt sector and there is a world of difference between departments of state and local government in terms of the people, and their outlook.

I'd imagine this thread will go along roughly the following lines - general slagging off of CS, lots of "CS think they're officers" posts, some comments about the chairs in MB and pay, and then more slagging off about how we know nothing at all about what we're doing.

As for the idea that we all vote labour - rubbish - MOD is about as true blue as they come. Last election I saw dozens of CS cheering every Tory gain announced.
 
#9
right-grumpy said:
No more than the amount of MPs and EMPs that should be shot! sorry sacked.
Funny you should mention that. Yesterday, Dave announced that the Tories would cut the number of seats in Parliament by 10%.

Regarding the Civil Service, you have to bear in mind that it's used to manipulate unemployment levels by creating 'non-jobs' for people who would otherwise be unemployed.

Do we really need all of those Equality Officers, Community Space Challenge Co-Ordinators and, i kid ye not, street football co-ordinators? I think not, especially at a time when the private sector that's forced to fund this lunacy is facing Armageddon.

Does Dave have gonads to do to the public sector what Maggie did to the nationalised industries in the 1980s? I think not. Looks like the next decade could be a rerun of the 1970s, or even the 1930s.
 
#10
Always interests me how these threads etc talk about what isn't done by the CS rather than what is done.

I was in the CS for a while but it did my head in so I moved on. There are good and bad as in most walks of life but the cuts are well underway and still going on. As bad as you think it may be just note if something isn't done because of too much on one persons desk due to cuts etc.
 
#11
Ancient_Mariner said:
Does Dave have gonads to do to the public sector what Maggie did to the nationalised industries in the 1980s? I think not. Looks like the next decade could be a rerun of the 1970s, or even the 1930s.
Maggie did it to the Civil Service too AM. During my time at MOD Hesseltine introduced Staff and Executive Responsibility Budgets, kicked off the whole "Outsourcing" process (then known as contracting out) just so he could stand up in parliament and state with his hand on his heart that he'd reduced the size of the Civil Service. The fact that he'd boosted the long-term costs didn't matter politically at that point.
 
#12
I had a discussion with a doctor a while ago. She had listened in on a presentation where my team had said that whilst team building and employee development was important, there was always a point where the decision to sack someone and get someone new because of underacheivement made economic sense. A business is not a charity and had to be run with a common sense mix of understanding requirements and a drive to meet the bottom line.

She vigorously disagreed. Her line was that her health service would never give up on anyone pointing at the fact that the unit she worked in had never got rid of anyone in her memory of 6 (I think) years with them. I pointed out that IMO a major problem with the NHS was exactly the mindset she showed.

There lies the difference between public and private business models. One runs in the real world and the other, doesn't.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Well, there's over 100,000 civil service employees that weren't needed before Labour (NOT Labliar) came to power, but have been employed - surely they are surplus!?
 
#14
NogBad_the_Bad said:
Ancient_Mariner said:
Does Dave have gonads to do to the public sector what Maggie did to the nationalised industries in the 1980s? I think not. Looks like the next decade could be a rerun of the 1970s, or even the 1930s.
Maggie did it to the Civil Service too AM. During my time at MOD Hesseltine introduced Staff and Executive Responsibility Budgets, kicked off the whole "Outsourcing" process (then known as contracting out) just so he could stand up in parliament and state with his hand on his heart that he'd reduced the size of the Civil Service. The fact that he'd boosted the long-term costs didn't matter politically at that point.
And then came the PFI - and Gordon saw it and saw it was good :twisted:
 
#15
Biped said:
Well, there's over 100,000 civil service employees that weren't needed before Labour (NOT Labliar) came to power, but have been employed - surely they are surplus!?
Nope, we've now got over a thousand new laws, about a million more health and safety regulations and a medium size mountain range of red tape to administer!

Small Government, small Civil Service. Time for a change...
 
#16
Gluck_ab said:
Trossachs said:
Stand by for outrage from the CS.

We don't really do outrage in the CS!

[b]I could be flippant and say that according to the Ex Trade Minister you don't do much at all.....[/
i]

Up here 30% of the population are employed by the Govt in some way, shape or form, which just sounds way too high.

[/b]Meaning 'up here' 70% of the population aren't employed by the Government. Remember to include local government employees in the Government employees you speak of.

Yes, I was. So, roughly speaking, for every 2 people there is an administrator of some sort, plus a few nurses and teachers. Hardly efficient ?

On top of that I'd say that a lot of the work done is actually pointless or has no effective output.

You proof of that is based on...?

[52 Years of life in the UK ? Having had 5 identical reminders about my tax return in the last two weeks....not having received the tax refund I was due a year ago..... having received a letter to me as Mr ( my forename) from our freinds at APC .... Having had three requests to take part in a survey of dairy farmers despite my never having had dairy cows.... receiving a census form for sheep farmers, 10 years after the last sheep left the farm ..... having had no reply to a letter sent to a named individual the Forestry Commission 2 months ago.... Need I go on ? [/color]

- remembering a quote from a local govt CS years ago when layoffs were being threatened for teachers and a teacher suggested reducing numbers in County Hall... " You can't make my members redundant, they are required to manage the reduction in teaching positions...".

Suggestion:

"Blank sheet" independent analysis of outputs required from Govt followed by study on organisation & manning requirement.

Do you mean appoint private sector organisations and/or consultants to do this work? One of the biggest costs in the Civil Service of these individuals appointed for their specialist knowledge where none exists in a department.

No. What you mean is no-one in the CS will take a decision based on the work of their staff. CS management always relying instead on the back-side covering ability of being able to say " but the consultants recommended"

Increase in subsequent CS pay to attarct suitable calibre individuals.

I agree with this statement! You could also increase the pay of those existing civil servants who are doing a good job - though i would say that!

Remainder redeployed into the private sector to add to national productivity.

You can't reploy the remainder into the privtae sector without there being the jobs in the private sector in the first place to absorb them. That isn't the case at present.

[The more effective solution might be re-training and heaven forfend having to be self-reliant but ....self-employment ?[/i]

Yes I know, simplistic in the extreme, too many vested interests for a start ....
 
#17
in_the_cheapseats said:
There lies the difference between public and private business models. One runs in the real world and the other, doesn't.
One also generates wealth, the other just consumes it.

msr
 
#18
I was an MoD civil servant (not Main Building or Shabby Wood). Like Murielson, I left because I couldn't stand the bullshit. The work itself, and my immediate colleagues, were great but every day involved pushing uphill against some jobsworth's intransigence. In the end, I left for a job in the commercial sector and never looked back.

Ironically, I'm now back effectively doing the same job, for the same Govt. and MOD customers as I was back then but now as a private entity. My old establishment went to ratshit and is now a shadow of its former self.

We used to have a running joke there, "Q: how many people work at [the establishment]?", A: about a third of 'em!" You really had to be there at the time. :)

Edited to add: It could still have been a great establishment, with a valid contribution to make but those in charge let it go down the pan. Anyone with half a brain and a bit of application has gone. Most of those who are left are either retired mil types who are happy to just coast along topping up their pensions untilt hey reach retirement age, or freak show rejects who absolutely would not get employment in the big bad world.

The idea that you can't get rid of civil servants is not quite true; I've seen it happen. All you have to do is keep piling on the non-productive bullshit and keeping salaries low and you'll get people out the door. Unfortunately the result is you're left with the dead-legs.
 
#19
Trossachs said:
Gluck_ab said:
Trossachs said:
Stand by for outrage from the CS.

We don't really do outrage in the CS!

[b]I could be flippant and say that according to the Ex Trade Minister you don't do much at all.....[/
i]

Up here 30% of the population are employed by the Govt in some way, shape or form, which just sounds way too high.

[/b]Meaning 'up here' 70% of the population aren't employed by the Government. Remember to include local government employees in the Government employees you speak of.

Yes, I was. So, roughly speaking, for every 2 people there is an administrator of some sort, plus a few nurses and teachers. Hardly efficient ?

On top of that I'd say that a lot of the work done is actually pointless or has no effective output.

You proof of that is based on...?

[52 Years of life in the UK ? Having had 5 identical reminders about my tax return in the last two weeks....not having received the tax refund I was due a year ago..... having received a letter to me as Mr ( my forename) from our freinds at APC .... Having had three requests to take part in a survey of dairy farmers despite my never having had dairy cows.... receiving a census form for sheep farmers, 10 years after the last sheep left the farm ..... having had no reply to a letter sent to a named individual the Forestry Commission 2 months ago.... Need I go on ? [/color]

- remembering a quote from a local govt CS years ago when layoffs were being threatened for teachers and a teacher suggested reducing numbers in County Hall... " You can't make my members redundant, they are required to manage the reduction in teaching positions...".

Suggestion:

"Blank sheet" independent analysis of outputs required from Govt followed by study on organisation & manning requirement.

Do you mean appoint private sector organisations and/or consultants to do this work? One of the biggest costs in the Civil Service of these individuals appointed for their specialist knowledge where none exists in a department.

No. What you mean is no-one in the CS will take a decision based on the work of their staff. CS management always relying instead on the back-side covering ability of being able to say " but the consultants recommended"

Increase in subsequent CS pay to attarct suitable calibre individuals.

I agree with this statement! You could also increase the pay of those existing civil servants who are doing a good job - though i would say that!

Remainder redeployed into the private sector to add to national productivity.

You can't reploy the remainder into the privtae sector without there being the jobs in the private sector in the first place to absorb them. That isn't the case at present.

[The more effective solution might be re-training and heaven forfend having to be self-reliant but ....self-employment ?[/i]

Yes I know, simplistic in the extreme, too many vested interests for a start ....


Well, if you can't beat them, join them!
 
#20
Daft thing is, I´d like to see a slight increase in some cases of CS and reductions in others.

For example, I think we should have more GPOs, and inside (the main ones) should be the capability to Register cars, obtain Driving Licences, obtain passports etc.

Basically decentralising the service providers and pushing them out to the people.

More Nurses, doctors and hospitals, with CS cleaners NOT contracted ones.

On the flip side.... In MoD there are now MORE CS than Servicemen. This can´t be a good balance.

It reminds me of Yes, Minister.... the shut down hospital with the "overworked" admin staff :D
 

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