The FDA launched its alternative White Paper on civil service reform at a Parliamentary reception in Spring 2013. The launch also marked the beginning of the FDA's major campaign, directed towards highlighting how the work of the union's members benefits the nation and its citizens, and promoting the FDA's case for reform.
The main speakers at the alternative White Paper launch
The reform plan - 'Delivering for the Nation: Securing a World-Class Civil Service' - has been developed by union members serving the Government and the public, and sets out 20 recommendations that it believes will help to deliver the sustainable world-class civil service that the public have a right to expect.
The alternative White Paper was launched at a Parliamentary event addressed by Francis Maude, the Minister responsible for the Cabinet Office (and civil service reform), and Baroness Hayter, the Labour spokesperson for the Cabinet Office. The event was chaired by Lord Bichard.
The FDA's alternative White Paper sets out 20 recommendations over three broad themes: equipping the civil service to deliver in the modern context; getting accountability and impartiality right; and how to improve morale and motivation.
Connect PA's Steve Barwick with Simon Hughes MP
Introducing the paper, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said: "In the face of these very difficult times we are choosing a path of engagement to influence our members' working lives. We believe passionately that this is the path that will ultimately deliver more for our members, but that also raises a challenge to the Government of the day - they need to respond, and be seen to respond to unions that choose that path.
"I believe that this White Paper demonstrates the FDA's commitment to engagement and dialogue - over the coming months we will look to see if a similar commitment is demonstrated by Government."
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman, in conversation with Civil Service World's Matt Ross and Baroness Bottomley
Former permanent secretary Lord Bichard, who chaired the launch event, told Penman: "I want to congratulate you and your staff on the initiative - I think this is the right way forward. This is a developing debate, but the fact that there is a debate developing is really important."
Francis Maude referred to the White Paper as a "thoughtful, constructive approach, recognising that there's a debate". He also admitted that "no-one has a monopoly it terms of the 'how' of reform."
Nick Raynsford MP contributes to the debate
Baroness Hayter said now is "a good time to have discussions on civil service reform, as all three parties have been in power recently… the report may kick-start a new, wider, cross party debate. We would certainly welcome such an initiative - for the sake of all our parties and in the interest of good Government."
The publication of the alternative White Paper marks the beginning of the FDA's 'Delivering for the Nation' campaign, highlighting the value of public services. The campaign aims to raise awareness of just how much the work of FDA members benefits everyone living in the UK, and why the work should be fairly rewarded.
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman with Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude