DWP digital chief questions department’s "highly hierarchical" culture

Written by Jim Dunton on 8 March 2016 in News

Department for Work and Pensions' Mayank Prakash tells Public Sector ICT Summit: “Before I can talk to a person they tell me what grade they are – and I struggle with it"

The Department for Work and Pensions’ director general of digital technology has spoken of his concerns about the organisation’s grade-led culture.

Mayank Prakash said he struggled with the department’s “highly hierarchical structure” and said he was keen to move to a more ability-focused arrangement.

“Before I can talk to a person they tell me what grade they are – and I struggle with it,” he told delegates to the Public Sector ICT Summit, organised by Civil Service World’s parent company Dods.

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“I respect people for their knowledge, their experience and the creativity that they bring to their role, and that to me is far more important than the grade they are in. 

Prakash added: “I aspire to work in an environment where we know whatever grade is on an employment contract, which is something that we look at every two years, but we lead with who we are and what we do.

“And we treat each other as equals in that conversation and we have a debate, and don’t hesitate to ask the question ‘why’ to anything you think is not right. Because the other person is either going to learn from your feedback or you’re going to accept why something is the right thing to do.”

Prakash told delegates this month's event he believed most of the "bad press" surrounding the DWP's roll-out of Universal Credit had gone away because the organisation was now "doing well" with the agenda.

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Jim Dunton
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Jim Dunton reports for CSW and its sister site, publictechnology.net, where this story first appeared 

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Jim666@gmail.com (not verified)

Submitted on 9 March, 2016 - 07:45
Grade is (in theory) a label to show what you have proved you can do - and what can be EXPECTED from you. Too many people treat it as a label showing what you CAN do.

Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted on 1 April, 2016 - 20:25
No I think grade proves nothing. It just proves that you got the grade because you were at the right place at the right time. But to quote from Ugly Betty, 'it's not how you got the job, it's what you do with it'.

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