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5 February 2024 - Civil service workforce: Recruitment, pay and performance management - Oral evidence

Committee Public Accounts Committee
Inquiry Civil service workforce: Recruitment, pay and performance management

Monday 5 February 2024

Start times: 3:30pm (private) 4:00pm (public)

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Civil service workforce scrutinised by Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee holds an evidence session looking at the civil service’s workforce at 4pm on Monday 5 February.

Meeting details

At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Civil service workforce: Recruitment, pay and performance management
Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office
Government Chief People Officer at Cabinet Office
Chief People Officer at Ministry of Justice
Chief People Officer at HM Revenue and Customs

The Committee has regularly raised issues of staff capacity, skills and workforce planning in the civil service in the past, and warned in December 2020 that the lack of specialist skills in the civil service affects both the efficiency and the effectiveness of government projects.

The Government declared in 2022 that it would cut civil service numbers by 91,000 posts to pre-2016 levels. While this target was later dropped, in October 2023 it was announced that civil service numbers would be capped.

The National Audit Office (NAO), in a report comparing how Government recruits, pays and performance manages its staff, found wide variances between departments in recruitment times and pay. There were also inconsistencies in departments’ HR processes, with just over two-thirds of departments not knowing what happens to staff after they are classed as underperforming.

Based on the NAO report, the Committee will take evidence from senior officials on subjects including:

  • Skills gaps;
  • Staffing and workforce planning;
  • Pay disparities;
  • Retention and progression of civil servants from diverse backgrounds.


The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

How to attend