Magazine article Public Finance

You Must Slow the Pace of Reform, FDA Warns the Government

Magazine article Public Finance

You Must Slow the Pace of Reform, FDA Warns the Government

Article excerpt

Senior Whitehall managers this week warned that they have 'unfinished business' with the government's reform agenda - and called on the next prime minister to slow the pace of change just hours after Tony Blair confirmed he is to step down.

As Public Finance went to press, senior civil servants gathered on May 10 at the annual conference of the FDA union, which represents high-grade staff up to permanent secretaries, amid growing concern over the impact of the government's reforms.

FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume was due to say that mandarins 'expect [Chancellor] Gordon Brown to be the new prime minister'.

But Baume was to warn Brown against hasty reforms, particularly widely leaked plans to overhaul the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry. 'Chopping and changing departments simply to massage a political ego is probably the worst excuse for reorganisation, but we all know it happens and too frequently.'

In advance of the conference, other delegates raised concerns over Whitehall's ability to manage 84,000 civil service job cuts by 2008 and the break-up of their departments through wider use of privatisation, executive agencies or the voluntary sector. …

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