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The Cabinet Office is to run a central academy to train civil servants and local government employees in commissioning and procurement, the department has told CSW.
An overwhelming majority of civil servants (79 per cent) believe that they would benefit from ‘new ways of working’ (NWW) – such as hot desking and remote working – and some 99 per cent believe that their departments would benefit, according to CSW research carried out in conjunction with property and infrastructure firm Capita Symonds.
A new proposal for civil service pension reform has been sent to trade unions for consultation, following the conclusion of talks between both sides earlier this month.
The head of Civil Service Learning (CSL), Jerry Arnott, has told CSW that he’s relying on departments’ procurement and finance professionals to ensure that all training purchases pass through CSL’s ‘Gateway’ – a key element of the reforms to civil service training set to come into force on 1 April.
A Public Administration Select Committee report into the role of the independent adviser on ministers’ interests has concluded that the role is not “independent in any meaningful sense”.
Despite a change of approach in Whitehall, civil servants in Northern Ireland will continue to pursue ‘spend to save’, Dr Malcolm McKibbin, head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), has told CSW.
The civil service has been a front runner in treating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB & T) workers fairly. Same sex adoption and parenting leave is available, same sex partners are recognised in pensions, and there are LGB & T staff networks.
HMRC has changed the role of its second permanent secretary in an attempt to eliminate the problems that dogged the tenure of departing incumbent Dave Hartnett.
The group tasked with reforming the civil service Fast Stream wants to introduce a right to undertake training and secondments, the group’s head Lin Homer has told CSW. She hopes to make the changes quickly, and suggested that they may affect all current fast streamers.
First civil service commissioner Sir David Normington has called for the Treasury’s scoping review of tax arrangements across the senior civil service to be extended, to ascertain whether the people involved are full civil servants or interim managers.
Departmental select committee chairs have provided mixed reviews of the departments they scrutinise for a Civil Service World Special Report, which has found that 40 per cent of them are dissatisfied with departments’ responses to their reports.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude wants the Fast Stream programme to be halved to two years, but plans have been delayed because departments are pushing for a compromise, CSW has learned.
An academy to develop project leadership skills among senior officials, launched this week by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, will become a model for addressing skills gaps across government, according to head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake.
Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander has ordered a review into the salary arrangements for “all senior consultancy appointments” after the revelation Ed Lester, chief executive at the Student Loans Company (SLC), was paid through a consultancy firm in order to reduce tax on his salary package.
The civil service trade unions are appealing against a High Court ruling that upholds the legality of the government’s decision to link public sector pensions to the CPI measure of inflation rather than the more generous RPI measure.
Civil service leaders should take more risks when making promotions to bring a wider range of skills into senior teams, environment permanent secretary Bronwyn Hill has said.