Ministers cannot ignore growing calls to get real about civil service capacity, says FDA

24 Mar 2017 01:01 PM

FDA Assistant General Secretary Rob O'Neill responded to the National Audit Office's latest report on capacity in the civil service, which highlights the increasing demands on the organisation ahead of Brexit

"With civil servants working flat out to take on the extra challenge of Brexit, this timely report from the NAO should act as an urgent wake up call to ministers.

"As the NAO points out, departments are being asked to take on more and more work even as staff numbers fall, while ongoing pay restraint chips away at their ability to recruit and retain the brightest and best.

"If the Government really wants to prepare the civil service for the challenges ahead, it cannot ignore the growing chorus of experts calling for it to get serious about workforce planning, take a realistic approach to pay and reward and look again at outdated spending plans drawn up in a pre-Brexit world."

View report:  Capability in the Civil Service

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 and at

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