Tuesday 15 June 2021 12:01 am

Whitehall shakeup: 22,000 roles may be moved out of London and external candidates for senior roles

Daily news reporter in City A.M.'s London newsroom

The government will today launch a reform programme that will see wide-scale reforms to the civil service, with jobs being moved out of Whitehall and senior jobs open to external candidates.

The reforms include moving 22,000 civil servant roles outside of London by 2030, including 50 per cent of senior servant roles, and advertising all senior civil servant roles externally.

Civil servants will also see a new system of pay, reward and performance management. This will include the introduction of capability based pay for senior civil servants.

New training will be available for civil servants and ministers and a training campus will be established. The government says this is to strengthen traditional skills and “build expertise in digital, data, science, and project and commercial delivery”.

The civil service fast stream graduate scheme will also be “updated” and new apprenticeships will be offered. Civil servants will also have more opportunities for interchange and secondments across the UK and devolved governments.

Outward-facing changes

A new single sign-on service will be introduced for citizens accessing government services. The government said this will make access to services easier and improve data sharing across government.

Finally, a new Evaluation Task Force will be part of the package. This will evaluate government programmes and initiatives, with the power to recommend the prime minister scrap under-performers.

The Declaration on Government Reform will be agreed today at the first ever joint meeting of the Cabinet and departmental Permanent Secretaries. It sets out how the government will reform the civil service and services to citizens.

Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, will say in a speech today: β€œIt is precisely because the Covid crisis revealed weaknesses in our government and society, because it also showcased strengths, because it forced government to adapt and improve delivery, because the public demand we build back better and because we have knowledge now that we did not possess before that this government is determined to deepen and accelerate our programme of reform.”

Civil Service Chief Operating Officer Alex Chisholm said the programme “builds on” the existing reforms made to the government and civil service over the past decade. He said:

β€œWe have started on this journey already with new investment and new leadership in digital technology, the launch of a new curriculum and skills offer, and all the major departments relocating roles across the UK.”