The effects of changes in career and incentive systems for civil servants are starting to show. Top civil servants have taken on the roles of ‘Champions’ to look at the key issues of leadership, bringing in and bringing on talent, performance management, diversity, business planning and a better deal for staff. The role of the champions is to help departments and agencies meet the exacting targets designed to produce a better, more responsive, more diverse, better equipped civil service.A performance management system for the Senior Civil Service was launched in April 2001. This is underpinned by a new competency framework and a 360 degree feedback package.
The number of top civil servants appointed through open competition to the Senior Civil Service increased last year by nearly 30 per cent, bringing in new talent and people from more diverse backgrounds. The Senior Civil Service comprises some 3,000 staff who advise on policy or have responsibilities as senior managers. Eight of the 17 appointments to the very top, including five at Permanent Secretary level came from outside the Civil Service. The total number of appointments to the Senior Civil Service was 202 and over 60 per cent came from outside. There was also an 11% increase in interchange activity in 1999/2000 with over 3,700 attachments and secondments to other parts of the public service and to the private sector.