Civil service open recruitment plan the latest shelved consultation
Ministers have dropped attempts to drop restricted recruitment practices in the civil service, according to the Times.
A consultation on expanding public sector appointments was part of the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto. It was completed in April 2016.
Sajid Javid, the business secretary in January 2016, said: “Restricted recruitment in the public sector is the last closed shop and it’s time it was brought into the 21st century. Everyone should have the opportunity to apply for these good and well-paid jobs.”
The government targeted the change to cut off “jobs for the boys” practices, particularly among transport unions. But, according to the newspaper, the proposals would have created “a huge problem at the highest level of the civil service”, and have been nixed by Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of the service.
The consultation page on the government’s website still reads: “we are analysing your feedback.”
An investigation by The Times revealed that the Government has commissioned more than 1,600 of the exercises since the 2015 general election.
But more than 500 of the information-gathering exercises have still not been completed, with 202 of those having been started more than two years ago.
Each public consultation is estimated to cost the public purse around £40,000, putting the total bill for all those launched since 2015 at around £66 million.
A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: “The Civil Service is more diverse than at any time in its history. Through our Workforce Plan (2016-2020), endorsed by Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, we are committed to opening up recruitment across the Civil Service to ensure we have the most skilled and capable people right across the organisation to deliver Government priorities."