Headlines: December 15th, 2000

Sir Richard Wilson, Head of the Civil Service, claims good progress is being made with radical reform of the organisation.In his first annual report to the Prime Minister on the programme of reforms announced last year, he says important first steps have been taken.

There is clearer, more visible corporate leadership of the civil service through a management board and in departments, and most top managers have received 360 degree feedback on their strengths and weaknesses from their staff as well as their managers. All 3,000 senior personnel will have received such feedback by the end of next year.

The number of senior management posts across the civil service going out to open competition have been increased by nearly a half, with almost two thirds of these being filled by people from other sectors. Jobs are also being advertised on the Internet, making them available to wider numbers of people.

Ninety two per cent of civil servants work for an organisation with Investors in People status, compared with 21 per cent of the rest of the UK workforce.

The report also details future changes. Next spring it is intended to introduce performance management and pay for senior staff, with a clear statement of competences required.

Civil servants will also be encouraged to gain a greater breadth of experience and outlook, in particular ensuring that people going into senior posts have experience of service delivery or other working cultures.

A copy of the report, Civil Service Reform Programme Annual Report 2000 is on the Cabinet Office website at www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/civilservice-reform