Magazine article Public Finance

Top Staff Attack Lack of Consultation

Magazine article Public Finance

Top Staff Attack Lack of Consultation

Article excerpt

Senior managers at the Revenue and Customs department are furious over the way last week's radical restructuring was handled internally.

Meetings between senior-grade staff and R&C directors since the public announcement on November 16 have centred as much on an apparent failure to consult key personnel as they have on how managers will achieve the changes. Around 17,500 posts are to be cut and hundreds of offices closed nationally. Many of the cuts will affect senior staff.

R&C sources told Public Finance that hundreds of senior personnel were unaware of the initiative, which has formally been presented as a consultation, until the public announcement. They say individuals who were given advanced notice of the statement were kept in the dark about the extent of the overhaul.

Whitehall's trade unions, including the FDA, which represents senior personnel, and the Public and Commercial Services union, which represents 84,000 R&C staff, only discovered the extent of the cuts on the department's intranet after the public announcement.

That contrasts with the traditional Whitehall practice of full consultation with the unions and senior managers before a formal announcement, so that internal concerns can be dealt with. …

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