The Foreign Office is over-staffed, inefficient and resistant to change, according to a report ordered by the department itself.
The report, by consultancy Collinson Grant, says more than 1,200 jobs – equating to one in 13 staff – at the Foreign Office could be axed, reports BBC Online.
The report says: "The entire organisation needs to be challenged and reformed, but the leadership lacks the skills needed and the will to upset the status quo."
There is not enough accountability for completing tasks and meeting deadlines, with junior staff avoiding blame for poor work by relying on their bosses to check documents, according to the report.
Middle managers feel obliged to "monitor, review and repeat work in order to 'justify their existence'."
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The report did what we wanted – to look at our working practices and see where we can make efficiency savings."
Changes had already been introduced since the report was received, he said, including cutting administration, reallocation of staff and replacing UK-based officials with local employees at overseas posts.