Select Committee on Public Service Report


PART 4: THE CIVIL SERVICE TODAY

THE SIZE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE

  88.    Between 1967 and 1997 the Civil Service first grew (peaking in 1976) and then shrank considerably. Since 1967, the sphere of Civil Service activities has been redefined, the status of some public service institutions has been changed, and some activities of Government have ceased or been privatised. The difference in staff numbers is only one aspect of change among many, and may not be very informative taken out of context; nevertheless, it is an important aspect of change. Table 1 above set out the size of each major department in 1967; Table 3 below is a comparable table for 1997. Appendix 6 sets out staff numbers in each year between 1967 and 1996.

TABLE 3: MAJOR DEPARTMENTS AS AT 1ST APRIL 1997
Department Non-industrial staff numbers
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food   8,996
Cabinet Office (excluding OPS)   581
Customs and Excise   23,071
Ministry of Defence   77,949
Department for Education and Employment   33,662
Department of the Environment   3,687
Ministry of Health   4,685
Home Office (excluding HM Prison Service)   12,078
Inland Revenue   54,029
Lord Chancellor's Department   10,625
National Heritage   960
Northern Ireland Office   204
Scottish Departments   4,649
Department of Social Security   93,030
Department of Trade and Industry   8,398
Department of Transport   10,933
Treasury   9,767
Treasury Solicitor's Departments   481
Welsh Office   2,060

(Figures provided by the OPS)

THE DEPARTMENTS OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IN 1997

  89.    By 1997 71 per cent of Civil Servants (i.e. 375,000 members of staff) were working in executive agencies[5]-a structure which did not exist in 1967. Executive agencies are described in paragraphs 72-74 above. Between 1988 and 1996, 145 agencies were created: 20 were subsequently privatised, merged or had their functions contracted out or abolished. In addition, many of the functions which were undertaken by Civil Servants in 1967 have been privatised or contracted out.

  90.    Table 2 above gave a description of departmental responsibilities in 1967. Table 4 below is a comparable table for 1997.

TABLE 4: DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES IN 1997
Function Chief Departments Responsible
Central Government, Law and Order Cabinet Office, Office of Public Service, Treasury, Lord Chancellor's Department, Law Officer's Department, and Home Office
Defence Ministry of Defence
Finance and Development Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Department of the Environment and Department of Transport
Revenue Boards of Inland Revenue and of Customs and Excise, Contributions Agency (Department of Social Security)
Social Services Department of Social Security, Department for Education and Employment, Department of Health
Foreign and Commonwealth Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Scotland Scottish Office
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Office
Wales Welsh Office

PAY AND GRADING

  91.    Many of the old staff grades and classes which existed in 1967 have now been absorbed into a more flexible pay and grading structure. Since 1st April 1996, departments and agencies have been responsible for their own pay and grading arrangements, and have been engaged in introducing their own systems.


5   (Paragraph 89) Figure given in the October 1996 Next Steps Briefing Note. Back


 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1998