Latest Public Sector News

07.01.16

Ministers consider higher pay bands for new Civil Service roles

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock is reportedly developing plans to introduce higher pay bands in the Civil Service for project manager jobs spanning finance and IT, designed to run major Whitehall contracts.

The plan, originally floated by Civil Service chief John Manzoni last year, could raise the highest pay at the highest levels to £300,000 – significantly higher than the £200,000 ceiling for senior officials. The head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, gets £195,000 a year.

Civil Service posts with pay grades above £145,000 a year must be approved by the Treasury, but it is unclear whether the new posts will fall under the same regulations. More details are expected during the spring, in the new financial year.

Hancock’s plans are designed to attract a wider base of specialist commercial skills to push forward with major projects that are often outsourced to contractors instead – especially in light of the current public sector 1% pay freeze.

As well as the enhanced pay, the roles would come with bespoke terms and conditions, yet to be decided – including the potential to receive Civil Service pension entitlements.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said most people will be “instinctively concerned about the recruitment of extra staff on new higher salary bands”.

“Ministers must be mindful of the need to keep a lid on unjustifiable large pay packages,” he said.

But a Cabinet Office spokesman said developing commercial, digital and other specialist capability is a key priority for the Civil Service, “to ensure that we attract and retain talented specialists”.

“We are developing proposals to build clear career paths, high quality learning and development products, and reward packages that allows the civil service to improve specialist capability and therefore the delivery of public services,” he added.

The proposals also come at the right time given yesterday’s scathing National Audit Office report claiming one-third of major public sector projects due for delivery in the next five years may be completely unachievable.

The auditor slammed central government and its departments for consistent project failures as a result of poor portfolio management, no data consistency, weak early planning, lack of accountability and a lack of capacity to undertake more projects.

(Top image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Comments

Clive Sparrow   07/01/2016 at 12:33

John Manzoni and Matt Hancock need first to sort out deeply ingrained Whitehall problems around confused project accountabilities, fuzzy decision-making and weak governance - otherwise higher Civil Service salaries spent on bringing in private sector people will be money wasted!

Nigel   07/01/2016 at 14:38

Well done to the minister, its great to see him awarding higher and higher pay scales for the top earners, no doubt some Tory pals might get a nod, I have been a civil servant for 30 years, I joined when the wages were half of what my friends were earning at the time, but decided to play the long game and give my loyalty to the Civil service, 30 years later I am being offered a pay cut each year, because the 1 per cent increase does not cover price rises overall, I get no recognition for my 30 years and yet the MPs award themselves hefty pay rises, I am sick of the top earners dictating what we should do and how poor the country is and we should all suffer together, lets see some evidence of your suffering chaps.

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