Saturday, January 14, 2006

DWP Shambles

We're always blogging about the Department For Work And Pensions. Hardly surprising when it spends £125bn pa of our money and employs 120,000 civil servants.

Of course, it's much more than that. DWP is a complete shambles that has had its accounts qualified for the last fifteen years, and on its own admission loses £3bn pa to fraud. As the Public Accounts Committee reported in October, DWP "still has a long way to go...the Department is still not performing to the standards that might reasonably be expected...and has problems with basic record keeping...the Department needs estimates that are more
accurate than the nearest £500 million...unable to find supporting papers in 106 out of 800 cases selected by the National Audit Office for checking...etc"

A total shambles.

And a total shambles being made even worse by Gordo's ruling that 30,000 DWP posts must be axed as part of his Gershon "efficiency" drive. Never mind the fact that many of the inefficiency problems result from his own ludicrously complex benefits system. Somehow, his civil servants must now manage with a quarter fewer staff.

Inevitably, Departmental morale has slumped to an all-time low- and that's pretty low. Over on the Civil Service Forum DWP unfortunates are blogging about the results of an internal staff survey:

"...confidence in Senior Managers has plummetted from 18% to just 10%. Taking into account the reduced response rate, less than 6% of staff have confidence in Senior Managers. If you work in a team of 17 people just one person from that group will have confidence in Senior Managers."

"Overall the results are mixed," is the languid response from the Permanent Secretary, Leigh Lewis CB (for you oiks out there, that means Companion of the Bath). And he's sent round a morale boosting email explaining the exciting David Brent paradigm shift he'll be facilitating:

"being visible and approachable; too many of you see your senior managers as remote and uncaring. ...I have already asked my 300 top managers in the Department to spend a lot more of their time this year out talking and listening to you;
- living our values; I want to breathe more life into the Department's values by making them the glue which binds us together..."

Sorry I think I've had a siezure.

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