Pay bonus for civil servants who beat targets

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Indy Politics

Civil servants will be entitled to performance-related bonuses under sweeping reforms that will change the face of Whitehall.

Civil servants will be entitled to performance-related bonuses under sweeping reforms that will change the face of Whitehall.

The plans, to be announced today, will aim to ensure fast-track promotions for the best government officials and that more women and people from ethnic minorities reach the highest levels of the civil service. There will also be more "job swaps" between people in the public and private sectors.

The blueprint for change has been drawn up by Sir Richard Wilson, the Cabinet Secretary, with back-up from permanent secretaries in four government departments. It will be endorsed in a written Commons reply by Tony Blair, who has been frustrated that traditional attitudes in Whitehall have slowed the pace of Labour's reforms to public services.

Sir Richard's recommendation of annual bonus payments will be seen as a response to Mr Blair's anxiety. Officials will qualify for a bonus if they meet the ambitious targets for improving the performance of their service set by ministers.

Government sources insist the impetus for reform has been a "bottom up" exercise from within the civil service, and the blueprint has not been imposed by Downing Street.

Sir Richard, who is seen as a moderniser by Number 10, will emphasise in his report that the changes will not jeopardise the traditional values of the civil service such as its integrity and political impartiality. The aim will be to inject the disciplines of the private sector into Whitehall, without throwing out the best features of a civil service that is admired throughout the world.

Sir Richard told the Cabinet this autumn the review would not jeopardise core civil service values, but he admitted staff needed stronger leadership. "We know what we are not, but we need to define our positive vision for the future," he said.

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