Latest Public Sector News

25.04.16

BIS refuses to reveal Sheffield job loss figures

Details of potential job losses from the closure of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) office in Sheffield have not been published despite a request from heads of two House of Commons committees.

Last week Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, and Iain Wright MP, chair of the BIS committee, wrote to Martin Donnelly, permanent secretary at BIS, accusing him of being “obfuscatory, if not misleading” in his provision of information about the closure.

They asked him to provide them with copies of a document entitled “BIS 2020 Finance and Headcount Outline” and any documents which have informed decisions relating to the closure of the BIS Sheffield office ahead of his appearance before the PAC next Wednesday.

In his response, Donnelly said that he could not provide the information because he was “unable to comment on a leaked document”.

He adds that the closure of the Sheffield office is part of a wider plan to deliver £350m of savings but that BIS have not yet calculated the costs of different savings programmes.

However, he says: “The primary driver for savings is headcount reductions and… final decisions on headcount have not yet been taken.”

He does admit that the maximum that can be saved, if the office is permanently closed and no staff are replaced, would be £15m.

(Image c. Stefan Rousseau from PA Archive/ Press Association Images)

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