Salisbury MP John Glen wants Civil Service to “do more with less”

CABINET Secretary John Glen (Con, Salisbury) has outlined plans to create a “lean, keen and productive” civil service, with workers doing “more with less”.

The Civil Service is made up of non-political government staff at departments, public bodies and agencies, who implement the policies of elected representatives.

And in a speech to the Institute for Government in London today (Tuesday) Mr Glen, the MP for Salisbury and Paymaster General, said he wished to create a productive service amid “tight” public finances.

“We must improve to keep pace with innovation in the private sector,” he said. “For too long, productivity in the public sector has not been a high-enough priority, we have thrown more people at our biggest challenges, but have more to do to embrace the potential of technology and innovative ways of working.”

He said the Civil Service was costing more to manage.

“It is clear we have to do more with less, but I don’t think it’s about cutting corners,” he said.

“It’s about being more productive. It’s about encouraging the best possible performance. It’s about bringing our people with us, to embrace the possibilities that modernisation brings.”

He said he would focus on three areas of modernisation; embedding technology, embracing simplicity and enabling people’s potential.

The Government is, Mr Glen said, “more complex than it needs to be”, and that he would be looking to improve Civil Service “accountability” to the public.

READ MORE: Read John Glen’s speech to the Institute for Government in full
READ MORE: Salisbury MP John Glen becomes Paymaster General in Sunak reshuffle

He said while people are “the Civil Service’s greatest asset”, he hoped to create a “smaller, more skilled” workforce, with fewer people better paid.

“Not only will this attract and retain talent, but it will also save the taxpayer money, with savings of up to £270 million by reducing reliance on expensive contractors,” he said.

“But let me be clear – we are not dodging our responsibilities to deal with bad behaviour,” he added.

“Where there is consistent poor performance in a very small minority of staff, we must take necessary action to address that.”

He also said he had already set out plans for civil servants to work in the office “at least 60% of the time”.

“Ultimately, I want staff to bring themselves – their ideas, their passion and their dedication – into the office to tackle problems together,” he added.

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