Latest Public Sector News

15.06.12

Only 16% of civil servants keen on mutual model

The majority of civil servants are unenthusiastic about forming mutuals, a new survey has demonstrated.

This is despite Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s assurances that it would make services more efficient and empower employees.

The first mutualised company to be spun off fromWhitehallwas launched last month, with former Labour cabinet minister John Hutton its chairman.

An independent survey, conducted by Civil Service World, showed that only 16% had any interest in forming a mutual company, with 69% rejecting the idea.

Concerns included a lack of trust in the Government’s ability to support and protect new mutuals, a lack of knowledge and understanding about the mutual model and fear that a private partner could take over.

Maude said: “Mutuals can deliver more efficient services for the public – that is why we are ending the binary choice between private and state provision.

“We want to see a new wave of mutuals as more organisations benefit from our Mutual Support Programme and more entrepreneurial frontline staff pioneer the way for others.

“Fledgling mutuals will get professional expertise and advice that they would otherwise be unable to access.”

But PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This blows a hole right through the Government's claims that this is in any way employee-led, and shows civil servants are deeply sceptical about what is simply privatisation by another name.

“Civil and public servants are rightly proud of the work they do and they recognise the huge value that public service brings to our society as a whole, and there is no appetite to unpick this and run our country's services on the basis of profit, instead of need.”

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