FDA rejects civil service politicisation ideas

Embargoed 00:01 Thursday 5 March 2009

FDA rejects civil service politicisation ideas

Responding to the report Fit for Purpose by the Reform think-tank, the FDA today rejected the idea that politicisation of the UK civil service would lead to better government. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in the civil service.

Jonathan Baume, FDA general secretary, said:

"The idea that the UK should move towards a system of democratic accountability for senior civil servants would not lead to better government. The political impartiality of the civil service lies at the heart of objective policy advice, which is necessary for effective decision-making.

"The Reform report also suggests that there should be a greater move toward 'open and flexible recruitment'. There is evidence that salaries for external recruits to the Senior Civil Service are 30% higher than for those appointed from within the civil service. And there is little evidence that the taxpayer is getting value for this investment. Indeed, many of the quarter of Senior Civil Servants who are currently recruited externally do not succeed in their roles."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.

Oliver Rowe, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.