The Politics AssociationAS Government and PoliticsPowerpoint Presentation - 10The Civil Service
A Civil Servant -A Civil Servant -A servant of the Crown (thegovernment) who is employed in acivilian capacity (not a member of thearmed forces) and who is paid whollyand directly from central governmentfunds (not local government,nationalised industries, or quangos).
And the History . . .And the History . . .• Term ‘civil service’ – possible origin in the East IndiaCompany, which ran India for the British governmentbetween 1600 and the 1860s.• ‘Civil’ servant = civilian employee, not a member of themilitary.• Before the 19thcentury – no need for a large governmentbureaucracy.• Entry / promotion by patronage.• Northcote-Trevelyan Report (1854) – set up by Gladstone toinvestigate the civil service. Recommended grades of civilservant, in-service training, entry by examination,generalists rather than technical specialists, promotion bymerit.
Who are the Civil Servants?Who are the Civil Servants?Broad structure of civil service – based on three basic groups:1. Service-wide groups – general administrators.2. Service-wide specialists – i.e. statisticians, economists.3. Departmental groups & agencies – tied to specific governmentdepartments or hived off to an agency i.e. Prison Service Agency. 50% of all civil servants engaged in provisionof public services. 25% employed in Ministry of Defence. 25% divided between Administration Group,support services and self-supporting services(National Savings, Royal Mint). 4/5 civil servants work outside London.
At the very top –At the very top –five levels of the civil service:five levels of the civil service:1. Permanent Secretary2. Deputy Secretary3. Under Secretary4. Assistant Secretary5. Various
Role of the modern civil serviceRole of the modern civil serviceRole clarified in a memorandum written by the Headof the Home Civil Service, Sir Robert Armstrong, in1986. The Armstrong Memorandum (1986)Civil Servants should be –1. IMPARTIAL – to engage in no political activityand to implement policy regardless of who is inpower.2. ANONYMITY – to work behind the scenes andto preserve the confidentiality and discretion oftheir department.3. NEUTRAL - a civil servant may disagree with aparticular policy yet he/she must remain neutralfrom party politics.The Armstrong Memorandum (1986)Civil Servants should be –1. IMPARTIAL – to engage in no political activityand to implement policy regardless of who is inpower.2. ANONYMITY – to work behind the scenes andto preserve the confidentiality and discretion oftheir department.3. NEUTRAL - a civil servant may disagree with aparticular policy yet he/she must remain neutralfrom party politics.
Reforming the Civil ServiceReforming the Civil Service• 1968 The Fulton Report• 1979 Efficiency Unit• 1982 Financial Management Initiative (FMI)• 1988 ‘Next Steps’• 1991 Citizen’s Charter
New Labour & the Civil ServiceNew Labour & the Civil ServiceCitizen’s Charters• Citizen’s Charters replaced by ‘Service First’.• No attempts by New Labour to overturn Conservative reforms.• Criticisms of continued politicisation of the civil service.Next Steps• By 2000, 76% of civil servants worked in executive agenciesmanaged by Chief Executives.Private Finance Initiative• Retained by Labour.• Renamed ‘Public-Private Partnership’.• Expanded.• Future method of funding construction of schools and hospitals.
New Labour & the Civil Service (ii)New Labour & the Civil Service (ii)1999 White Paper‘Modernising Government’• ‘Better government to make lifebetter for the people.’• Civil servants encouraged to beinnovative.• Service delivery to be‘excellent’.• Whitehall to be staffed by moreand more outsiders.• 24 hour service where demandexists.‘ . . . joined up government’.The Wilson Report•Richard Wilson - Cabinet Secretary,Head of Home Civil Service.•Wilson’s report – Civil Service responseto White Paper.•Aim of report – diverse, open andprofessional civil service. Wilsonsuggested:•greater leadership at top of civilservice.•more outsiders, more in-servicetraining.•‘performance management’ to beimproved.•greater diversity – targets set forrecruitment of women,•disabled people and ethnic minorities.
New Labour & the Civil Service (iii)New Labour & the Civil Service (iii)White Paper / Wilson Report reforms have been implemented.• April 2002 – 500,000 civil servants.• April 2002 – 3,429 senior civil servants.• Appointments to senior posts – 50% increase in posts filledfrom open competition.• 66% of posts filled by outsiders.2002 – new Head of Home Civil Service – Andrew Turnbull,career civil servant.• Position not externally advertised, other contenders were fromcareer civil service backgrounds.
New Labour & the Civil Service (iv)New Labour & the Civil Service (iv)Turnbull’s ReformsCabinet Office strengthened with a ‘reform and deliveryteam’.Focus for civil servants now, administration – policies leftto politicians.Threat of bonus cuts for Permanent Secretaries who fail todeliver the government agenda.
New Labour & the Civil Service (v)New Labour & the Civil Service (v)Criticisms of New Labour Reforms• Civil service – ‘too politicised’.• Richard Wilson (before retirement) called for a ‘Civil Service Act’ toprotect neutrality of the Civil Service.• Calls for clearer boundaries between ‘government and party’.• ‘Blairites have wrecked the best of the civil service’. (Hugo Young,‘Guardian’ 25 June 2002.• Posts filled through open competition may have increased – but froma very low starting point: so not that impressive.• Difficult minister/official relationships – accusations of ‘bullying’.General criticisms include:• Still too much focus on ‘value for money’.• Not enough focus on ‘public service ethos’.• ‘Business values’ are not always appropriate in the public sector’.