Headlines: January 19th, 2001

As the radical programme to reform the Civil Service launched in October 1999 grinds on with few visible results, change continues to sweep through Customs and Excise. The change started in February 2000 with the appointment of Richard Broadbent as Chairman. He was recruited from Schroders plc where he was responsible for corporate finance business. Prior to joining Schroders he spent 11 years at HM Treasury.Two months after taking up his post he replaced the top management structure by a small team with a much lower average age. In November 2000 he launched a fundamental overhaul of the Department’s Human Resource systems to support his vision of creating an active management culture. At the same time it was announced that a deal had been made with Manchester Business School to provide an executive development programme. It has now been announced that the Department is to be reorganised on functional lines and all its activities will be grouped into two core business units.

Commenting on the changes at Customs a former senior civil servant said that as Ministers become increasingly disillusioned with the progress of Civil Service reform they may rely less on a top down change programme and prefer the Customs route of bringing in new blood. A clear indication of Ministerial thinking will be revealed when the appointment of the next Permanent Secretary at the Home Office is announced shortly.