The government has a target to cut the administrative overhead by 30% over the life of this Parliament. This is a demanding target, but one that can be hit. It will be easiest to do so, if full use is made of people leaving public service to retire or take jobs elsewhere. It’s cheaper and fairer than sacking people.
I have asked a series of questions to find out how effective this means of slimming the overhead is proving. So far, in the departments that have answered, they have lost around 4% of their staff numbers in an eight month period. This suggests the overall annual rate of leavers is 6%. What is surprising is they have replaced half of these, meaning that the overall numbers are only down around 2%. If they are to hit the 30% target, they need to get better at avoiding replacement. If the post is essential then they need to promote from within, and remove some other post as a result.
You can view a slide of the complete data here – Civil Service Employment by Department.18.03.11.