Call for Civil Service Commission

In a report published today, Thursday 12 December, ahead of its launch on the floor of the House of Commons, the Liaison Committee calls on Government to establish a Parliamentary Commission into the Civil Service. The Committee, which is made up of Chairs of all the select committees charged with holding Governmental departments to account, today publishes its conclusions on the capacity of the Civil Service to manage contracts with the private sector, based on evidence provided by the Prime Minister in September and evidence collected by select committees in a range of inquiries from the roll-out of Universal Credit to the provision of rural broadband.

The Committee has concluded:

  • There is significant evidence that the Civil Service is not equipped to support consistent contract management, and tends to be driven by short-term pressures, rather than long-term value for money for the taxpayer.
  • It is unconvinced that the Government’s Civil Service Reform Plan for Whitehall is based on a strategic consideration of the future of the Civil Service.

To provide such a strategic consideration, the Committee has recommended the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission on the Civil Service, as recommended by the Public Administration Select Committee in September. The Committee has called for such a commission to be established as a matter of urgency, and to report before the end of the Parliament


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