FDA responds to Telegraph’s claim that civil service staff ‘are allowed to get away with poor performance’

11 May 2012
For immediate release

In response to today's lead story in the Telegraph - headed 'Worst civil servants to be sacked' - which states that "staff are allowed to get away with poor performance", FDA Deputy General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"We have yet to see details of the proposed white paper on civil service reform. The civil service already has rigorous performance management processes, including for the senior civil service a forced ranking approach to appraisal and a revision of these procedures, which was introduced only last month.

"As Francis Maude has said, it is simply a myth that civil servants can't be sacked or that it more difficult to sack individuals who underperform in the civil service than it is anywhere else.

"We will, of course, expect full consultation if there are any proposals to change performance management for civil servants and have assurances from the government that there will be full consultation on the white paper once published. "

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

  • Dave Penman, FDA Deputy General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.