Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Criticised for Poor Staff Procedures

Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Criticised for Poor Staff Procedures

Article excerpt

Whitehall departments are failing to follow correct disciplinary procedures, leading to hundreds of appeals through which some staff overturn dismissals, Public Finance has learnt.

In response, the Cabinet Office has warned senior human resources personnel not to simply 'rubber-stamp' bad decisions during the appeals process to cover up poor decision-making.

A study by the Civil Service Appeal Board has revealed that 22% of all disciplinary cases involving appeals during 2005/06 were deemed 'unfair' -15% up on last year.

In his annual report, CSAB chair John Davies outlines a number of concerns to the Cabinet Office, which oversees the board.

'It is clear that departments and agencies do not always appreciate the importance of respecting the standard statutory procedures and it has, perhaps, not been fully appreciated that if there is a breach... the board has no choice other than to find the dismissal automatically unfair,' he wrote.

Davies also reports that, rather than re-examining their original decision in an objective fashion, managers often use appeals to 'justify and uphold the basis upon which the original decision to dismiss [staff] was founded'.

Departments are also criticised for taking too long to complete disciplinary procedures. …

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