Resources must match priorities for civil service reform to be taken seriously, says FDA


Responding to today’s publication of the House of Commons Liaison Committee report on civil service reform, which recommends establishing a Parliamentary Commission, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

“While the FDA agrees with the Liaison Committee that civil service reform is too important to be done without a comprehensive study of the challenges being faced, the focus should not simply be on where there have been failures, but on how vital public services will be delivered with dramatically-reduced resources.

“While highlighting failures that occur in any large organisation, the Liaison Committee overlooks civil service successes happening every day: stopping tax evasion, prosecuting criminals, improving the performance of schools and representing our national interests abroad.

“It is essential that the civil service is fully-equipped to meet the challenges that it faces and, importantly, has the skills and resources to deliver the Government’s priorities. For any commission to be successful, it must include input from those involved in day-to-day delivery.

“Our alternative White Paper includes feedback and case studies from senior public servants and sets out 20 recommendations for reform, looking into the recognition, reward and resources required to secure a world-class civil service. We would welcome working with any commission to help make this ambition a reality.”


Notes for editors

1.     The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 19,000 senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2.    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". 

3.    The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at

4.    The FDA's alternative White Paper - 'Delivering for the Nation: Securing a World-Class Civil Service' - outlining our analysis of the challenges facing the civil service and our recommendations for change, can be read here.

5.    For further information contact:

    • Dave Penman, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.

    • Kay Hender, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.