Examination of Witnesses (Questions 100
TUESDAY 7 MAY 2002
100. Which areas have lost out in the churn?
What do you now consider to be lower priority as opposed to higher
(Mr Green) One of the key changes was in Western and
Southern Europe where we reduced our coverage, particularly in
Germany. We managed to reduce our coverage without reducing our
impact though because of electronic services and we were having
far too much tied up in infrastructure costs in those different
city locations. Having taken them out we are now able to spend
more on programme activity than we were previously. The key shift
was from Western and Southern Europe more to Central Europe, Eastern
Europe and Central Asia.
(Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws) We have also had a
rethink in some of the places in Latin America where we do think
that the United States has such an impact, for example, in teaching
English and so on where we really cannot compete at all. We have
had to rethink our presence in some of those areas and that has
obviously been met with a great deal of unhappiness from people
who feel very strongly that it is important that we have a British
101. You have churned some 5.8 million from
some overseas directorates which is going to be redeployed. You
mentioned you have moved out of some areas in the last year, are
there likely to be any future closures of overseas directorates
as a consequence of that particular 5.8 million?
(Mr Green) We constantly have to make sure that our
priorities are the right ones. For instance, we would like to
be in Afghanistan as soon as it is possible for security reasons
to get in there and open up our own operation there. We are constantly
having to relook and make sure that we realign our priorities.
Most of the significant changes and reductions have already happened.
102. The last time you appeared before us your
staff restructuring was under way. Has that been successful or
is that still continuing?
(Mr Green) It is still continuing but I think it is
working well. We have allocated three per cent of payroll costs
to staff over to training because it does involve a lot of retraining
and development and we want to try to keep as many staff as possible.
There will be some reductions in staff numbers but we want to
do it by retraining and upskilling the staff rather than shedding
them and getting new ones.
103. When the Committee does travel we make
it a point of honour whenever possible to visit the Council offices
and we have had a very happy relationship with the Council and
I hope that will continue. Thank you and your colleagues very
(Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws) Thank you very much
for receiving us. I am pleased that we had this intense connection
with a small group of you but I am sorry some of your other colleagues
could not be here because it is always nice to
Chairman: Nonetheless it has been very valuable.