Cabinet Office leadership and skills targets slammed as unclear by MPs

The government’s policies on skills and capabilities for Civil Service staff lack cohesion and drive, according to a damning report by a committee of MPs.

The Skills for Government report by the Public Administration Committee (PAC) said none of the Cabinet Office targets for improving leadership and skills seemed to have been adequately thought through.

“It is not clear, even if all of them were achieved, whether the Civil Service’s capability would be significantly increased,” the report said.

It was also critical of the level of performance management in the Civil Service. A recent senior Civil Service survey showed that a meagre 19% of senior civil servants believed poor performance was dealt with effectively.

A “radically different” approach was needed and should be a top priority for the Cabinet Office, the PAC report said. Existing skills gaps were not being adequately assessed, with positive messages about skills being undermined by the “relentless” search for efficiencies, the MPs warned.

The Cabinet Office welcomed the PAC report and said that the government would consider the recommendations and respond in due course.

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