Treasury posts 12% rise in Senior Civil Service headcount

Written by Jim Dunton on 9 July 2019 in News
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Annual report also details declining spending on consultants and temporary staff

Credit: PA

The number of senior civil servants working at the Treasury increased by 12% last year, while the core department’s overall headcount rose by 9% as Brexit preparations ramped up, according to its annual report.

Figures contained in the Treasury’s 2018-19 annual report showed the number of staff categorised in bands SCS1 to SCS3 rose from 101 to 113 in the year leading up to the end of March – an increase of 11.9%.

Of those senior civil servants, staff at SCS2 grade posted the biggest proportional increase, rising from 18 to 25 in the space of a year. The number of officials at SCS1 grade rose from 76 to 81, and SCS3 numbers remained static at seven.


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The Treasury's HR data for the year showed the overall number of core department staff increased from 1,328 to 1,447, or 8.96%, in the same period – largely to help it prepare for Brexit.

"As the department has continued to work towards our exit from the EU, headcount has again grown to reflect this continuing work," the report said.

The Treasury said its net staff costs for the core department and its agencies rose from £128m in 2017-18 to £137m in 2018-19. Staff costs for its arm’s-length bodies and other orgainsations dropped from £70m to £61m, meaning that its total staff costs stayed flat at £198m.

The department's pay costs were £3m higher than expected "due to earlier than anticipated recruitment and [full-time equivalent] levels higher than budgeted throughout the year". It has completed work to ensure the 2019-20 pay budget is "based on a recruitment profile that reflects appropriate and realistic assumptions", it added.

While the number of payroll staff at Treasury rose year-on-year, the report suggested the department was reducing its use of consultants and contracted staff.

According to the data, signed off by perm sec Tom Scholar, the core department and its agencies spent £23m on consultants and contingent labour last year, down from £29m the previous year.

The report said that as in the previous year, Scholar received a salary of between £185,000 and £190,000; second perm sec Charles Roxburgh’s banding also remained unchanged at £155,000-160,000.

Scholar did not receive a bonus in either year; Roxburgh received a bonus of between £15 and 20k last year. He did not receive a 2017-18 bonus.

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