Debates between Lord Lisvane and Lord True during the 2019 Parliament

Civil Servants: Reduction of Numbers

Debate between Lord Lisvane and Lord True
Thursday 24th March 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I reject the first part of the question. I am absolutely delighted that my right honourable friend is bringing his insight to the Cabinet Office and I look forward to working with him. As far as consultants are concerned, yes, the Government are seeking to reduce consultancy spend. Central government and arm’s-length bodies spent approximately £1.5 billion on consultancy in 2021; that is why the consulting hub was set up last year to lead the consultancy reform programme. I can certainly assure the noble Lord and others that much attention will be given to that.

Lord Lisvane Portrait Lord Lisvane (CB)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, if the Government wish the central Civil Service to be as effective as possible, whatever size it is, might they give a higher priority to reducing churn through appointments and postings, perhaps leading to greater stability, a retention of expertise and a greater and more effective corporate memory?

Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think the noble Lord makes a very important point. There is a great deal of churn in the Civil Service and that reflects one of the things that the Government wish to address in order to give greater job satisfaction, to invest in quality training and to enable civil servants to deliver a modern work programme. One of the reasons to seek to squeeze out efficiencies is to enable us to invest in more front-line service and in exactly the kind of support referred to by the noble Lord.