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Tuesday 02 May 2017

PACAC report adds to mounting evidence that Britain needs a strong civil service, says FDA union

Responding to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs select committee report on the work of the civil service, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

“The report is a welcome addition to mounting evidence that the Government is failing to match commitments with the resources it provides to the civil service – and is compounding this error by insisting on Brexit on the cheap.

“Particularly welcome is the report’s recommendation that, in relation to Brexit, the Government should be pressed ‘to ensure that the civil service is appropriately skilled, resourced and focused to meet the significant challenges that it faces both over the course of the negotiations and following the UK’s exit from the European Union’.

“With the civil service now 26% smaller than it was a decade ago, the report highlights, as others have done, that the Government struggles to prioritise, with ‘too many projects, programmes of activity and policy delivery commitments being pursued simultaneously with little chance of success’.

“This reflects the experience of FDA members – those on the frontline of delivering the Government’s agenda – only a fifth of whom believe their department has sufficient resources to meet the demands of the year ahead. Meanwhile, our recent Working Hours Survey of FDA members finds that a quarter are already working unpaid hours equivalent to an additional day every week, while two-thirds say they have worked while on sick or annual leave.

“Facing up to the many challenges that lie ahead means that more than ever, Britain needs a strong civil service. The general election provides an opportunity for a new Government, of whatever colour, to think again about the demands placed on the civil service – and the resources needed to meet those challenges.”
Notes for editors 
1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals at grade HEO and above. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, diplomats, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, 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.

4. For further information contact the FDA Communications team on 020 7401 5589.
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