Headlines: November 6th, 2009

New research indicates that the public sector may not yet have felt the full impact of the recession. The survey by BT Global Services also reveals that senior executives in the sector are pessimistic about an upturn in the next year.

The gloom among senior public services staff is in mark contrast to the views of private sector counterparts in financial services, transport, logistics, fast moving consumer goods and retail. The study says the prospect of widespread cuts is making public sector executives the most pessimistic about an upturn.

The research shows that many respondents believe the public sector is yet to face the full impact of the recession. A quarter of those in the private felt their department had not been affected at all by the recession but in the public sphere the figure rose to four out of ten. Almost a third said their departments did not do anything out of the ordinary to cope with recession. Although direct experience of the downturn is limited almost half of public sector respondents said their outlook was uncertain or gloomy compared to 36 per cent of their opposite numbers in business.

Fewer public sector executives have so far seen fundamental changes to the way their departments will operate over the next few years. Almost a third of those in the sector said business had continued as normal. In the private sector that figure drops to a fifth. John Stokoe, Vice President, National Government at BT Global Services, said many public sector departments would be expected to do more with fewer resources and by using new technologies in voice, videoconferencing and cloud computing, they could reduce the impact of the recession and provide a good service.