The worst-performing 10 per cent of senior Whitehall mandarins are to be identified for the first time and put into a programme of “performance management” which could ultimately lead to their dismissal.
Under tough new rules to improve Civil Service performance, announced by the Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, every permanent secretary will in future have their annual objectives published online for the public to scrutinise.
Their performance against them will then be assessed by ministers and the head of the Civil Service and the poorest-performing 10 per cent identified. They will be forced to undertake “performance monitoring and improvement planning” and, if they don’t improve their relative performance, could be “exited” from the Civil Service. However, details of the twice-yearly appraisals – and who performs badly – will not be made public.
Mr Maude said the Civil Service had to change along with the rest of the world. “We are in a global race and are faced with rising public expectations,” he said.
Mr Maude said the Government also wanted to give ministers a say in choosing between candidates for permanent secretary posts. But at a briefing with the head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, the two admitted they were not in agreement.
Sir Bob said he believed the current arrangement where appointments were independently made but could be vetoed by the Prime Minister were satisfactory.