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Civil service restructure could save £17m. – P&R

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BOLD changes to the structure of the civil service could save up to £17m. a year, Policy & Resources has said in the Budget.

(Picture by Peter Frankland, 22772694)

On Tuesday, States chief executive Paul Whitfield announced plans to reorganise senior roles and also shed 200 posts in a move he said would cut at least £10m. off spending annually.

The upper estimate is included in the 2019 Budget report published the same day.

States members are being asked to approve £8m. of spending on the initiative, which will cover things such as a voluntary redundancy package and retraining.

The organisational structure of the civil service needs to be ‘radically redesigned,’ the Budget says, to deliver medium term savings targets the States has already agreed to.

‘The public service has historically been organised based on the political committee structure.

‘In practical terms, to achieve the ambition of working as one organisation, with the focus on serving the community, the civil service must meet the needs of both community and serving its government and therefore the structure of the civil service must change accordingly,’ P&R says in the Budget.

‘Therefore, the Policy & Resources Committee is supporting the introduction of a new structure for the organisation that groups strategic responsibility by services and customer need, joining up services at the highest level. The purpose of the organisational redevelopment work is to improve the services received by the community.

‘For example, when accessing adult care an individual might currently encounter 29 touchpoints with the States, with 30 professionals involved, across 11 different services, overseen by four different committees. The new model will be designed to improve the way services are delivered to the community and result in a customer experience that is seamless.’

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The changes will see a new civil service leadership team that will comprise of six roles, rather than the current 13, who will be responsible for broad, high level areas such as finance or policies that relate to people.

They will offer policy advice across the different committees as necessary.

The chief secretary role will be removed.

‘It is the belief of the Policy & Resources Committee that significant benefits, including substantial financial savings, are available if the States are prepared to be bold. There are opportunities to make savings in the civil service and reduce staff numbers by improving processes and becoming leaner through re-structuring to remove duplication and truly integrate services. This programme of work will see a significant reduction in the civil service headcount of more than 200 FTEs releasing between £10m. and £17m. per annum.’

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Deputy Emilie Yerby has doubts about the plan.

‘Profoundly concerned about this,’ she said on Twitter.

‘If you’ve seen anything I’ve written over past few days, you’ll already know I don’t think the civil service has 200 roles to spare.

‘Some may be in wrong places, some may not be up to snuff, but there is simply no way it’s 200 people overweight.’

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
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