Whitehall demoralised by pressure of change

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Indy Politics
Morale is lower in the Crown Prosecution Service than any other Whitehall department, according to a survey of opinion among senior civil servants released yesterday by their union, the First Division Association.

The survey by MORI showed low morale across the Civil Service, with 76 per cent saying the Government's changes were badly managed and 56 per cent saying they were overworked.

But the survey, which is to be presented to Michael Heseltine, the new First Secretary responsible for the Civil Service, found that morale in the troubled CPS, said to be overloaded with a backlog of work, was the worst in Whitehall.

Sir Robin Butler, head of the Civil Service, stopped the Commons sub- committee on the Civil Service from conducting a similar survey.

Liz Symons, the general secretary of the FDA, said the results were worrying. In addition to showing that civil servants felt overworked, depressed about the changes and strongly opposed to the introduction of performance-related pay, the survey reinforced their demands for a code of ethics.

The demands for protection for "whistleblowers" in the Civil Service will heighten the controversy surrounding a change in the rules for ministers, to be agreed by the Cabinet today. The change could open civil servants to blame if ministers claim they misled Parliament because they had been wrongly informed. The Government has resisted a code, in spite of support by the Nolan committee.