Civil service staff cuts: Home Office ‘directors cut’ fails to materialise

Home Office promises to immediately cut a quarter of its directors following a damning review of its capability have not been met, Personnel Today can reveal.

Home secretary John Reid launched an action plan after a departmental capability review found “significant weaknesses” or “significant concerns” in all of the 10 key tests of the department’s leadership, strategy and direction.

One of the plan’s key initiatives to regenerate leadership capabilities in the Home Office was “fifteen immediate changes at director level… to strengthen leadership in the most important areas”.

But it has emerged that no directors have yet been removed from their positions, no-one has been named as a victim of the cull and there is no definite timescale for it to happen.

Home Office minister, Baroness Scotland, would only say that “a programme of changes is going to occur”. She admitted that no one had yet been chosen to go at director level and would add nothing more, other than it was “part of a process”. Scotland would not say whether group HR director, John Marsh, was safe in his position.

It has been a bad few months for HR in the Home Office. The capability reviews were particularly damning about people management and the performance of HR. Reid’s action plan singles out HR as one area of the department that is to undergo a skills audit following criticism in the review.

The review came weeks after Reid heavily criticised the function for a lack of leadership in the aftermath of the foreign prisoner fiasco in May.

The department is currently in the latter stages of recruiting a director of HR services to implement the move to a national shared service model. It is also looking for a director of leadership and learning. Both positions command a salary of about £110,000.


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