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

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"

By Jim Dunton

08 Mar 2016

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.

Government Digital Service programme director Janet Hughes: What if boldness were an explicit value of the civil service?
Sprint 16: Six things we learned about the future of government digital from the GDS conference

“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.

Read the most recent articles written by Jim Dunton - Defence review 'must come with a workforce plan', union warns

Share this page