MPs call for inquiry into 'systemic failings' in the Civil Service
A series of failures in recent years have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds
A group of the most powerful MPs in Parliament will demand a root and branch review into “systemic failings” in the Civil Service that have led to a string of debacles.
In a highly unusual intervention, the chairs of every Commons select committee have endorsed a report calling for ministers to establish a parliamentary commission into the Civil Service.
They said that they were “unconvinced” the Government’s current reform plan was based any “strategic consideration” of the future of the Civil Service and criticised David Cameron for not having “a coherent analysis of why things go wrong”.
They recommended that the inquiry – which would take evidence from ministers, officials and outside experts – should run along similar lines to the Banking Commission. They added it should make recommendations for reform in time for the next election.
The report by the Liaison Committee, which is made up of all the select committee chairs, cites a series of Civil Service failures in recent years that have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds. These include the collapse of the West Coast main line franchising, a failure to roll out universal credit on time and on budget, overcharging by private sector companies such as G4S and Serco and systemic problems at the former Borders Agency.
The report claims the Civil Service has a bias to inertia, does not learn from failure and has a deficit of commercial and contracting skills.
The Government is currently implementing its own Civil Service reform plan which would place permanent secretaries on fixed-term contracts, beef up ministerial private offices and ensure officials stayed in key roles for longer.
But Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Public Administration Select Committee which first called for the commission, said he feared that these plans would come to nothing.
“The problem is that the senior Civil Service intends to outlast this reform plan,” he said. “A parliamentary commission would have cross-party support and provide a mandate for reform that could not be ignored.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Many of the concerns raised here are addressed in our Civil Service reform plan.”
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...