As someone who has urged the use of natural wastage to control staff numbers and costs in government departments, I have just asked a series of questions to see how Ministers are getting on.
One of the first to come through are the figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. In May 2010 they employed 1036 people (full time equivalents). Since May 53 people have left. They now employ 1154 (fte).
That means they have employed an extra 118 staff, and replaced the 52 (fte) that have left, making a grand total of 170 extra hirings.
I am pleased to report that at Business totals are down by 449, with 500 leaving over the period. At DEFRA totals are down by 539, with leavers amounting to 678. (all fte). The natural wastage rate is running at over 7% per annum at DEFRA and much higher at Business, if all the leavers were voluntary. It shows that there are substantial savings to be had from natural wastage.