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Civil Service Commissioners' - Annual Report

Civil Service Commissioners' - Annual Report

CABINET OFFICE News Release (Civil Service Commissioners) issued by The Government News Network on 15 July 2008

'MIXED PICTURE' ON APPOINTMENT OF WOMEN SAYS FIRST COMMISSIONER

"This year has seen a significant increase in the number of women appointed to jobs at the very top of the Civil Service, but overall there was a further decline in the percentage of all senior appointments that went to women." Janet Paraskeva, the First Civil Service Commissioner said today.

Publishing the Civil Service Commissioners' online annual report for 2007/08, Janet Paraskeva said:

"This year has seen a significant increase in the percentage of jobs at the very top of the Civil Service which have gone to female candidates. The two Permanent Secretary appointments this year were both women. For the first time in the past four years the percentage of women appointed to the very highest jobs (pay band 3 and Permanent Secretaries) is higher than the overall percentage of women appointed to all senior jobs.

"But, overall this year we saw another decline in the percentage of all senior appointments that went to women. Only 24% of all senior appointments that we are required to approve went to women compared to 27% the year before and 32% the year before that. The Commissioners welcome the fact that women are competing successfully for the most senior jobs in the Civil Service. However, if women are being less successful in gaining appointments to jobs outside the ' Top 200' then the pool of women civil servants who can compete for the top jobs in the future will be depleted."

Ms Paraskeva continued:

"Last year we also expressed our concern about a number of instances of salary payments significantly higher than the advertised rate to candidates from the private sector. In one case this was as much as 100%. We also reported a number of instances where civil servant candidates were paid significantly under the advertised rate.

"This year the picture is more mixed. There are fewer instances of significant salary payments over the advertised rate and they are less extreme. Also this year some of those who negotiated rates higher than the advertised range were existing civil servants. At the other end of the scale, some of the payments under the advertised rate went to candidates from the private sector. There do seem to be more examples this year of candidates being paid significantly under the advertised rate. The four most extreme examples were civil servants.

"We are concerned to note that there is some evidence to suggest that successful female civil servants are disproportionately more likely to be paid under the advertised rate than their male colleagues. This is something we shall monitor and report on next year."

"In our report last year we noted a sharp increase in the number of departments and agencies judged as 'high risk' during our compliance audits which monitor Departments' recruitment practice. I am pleased to be able to report that this trend has been reversed. This year only 5% of organisations were judged to be 'high risk'. This compares to 14% last year and 8% the year before. We have been working with departments to help them address the practices that might produce a 'high risk' assessment and this appears to be working well.

Commenting on the draft Constitutional Renewal Bill, Ms Paraskeva said:

"We have waited a very long time for civil service legislation, now the possibility is at last here we must get it right. We welcome the fact that the Government has brought a draft Bill forward and we will work with the Government and others to ensure the best possible legislation is brought to the statute book. The core values of the Civil Service - honesty, integrity, objectivity, impartiality and appointment on merit are important to every civil servant and every citizen. With my fellow Commissioners, I look forward to the next phase of our work in ensuring that those values underpin an efficient, fair and effective Civil Service, now and for the future."

The Commissioners' annual report is available at http://www.cscannualreport.info. The report details the Commissioners' work throughout the year in regulating appointments to the Civil Service and hearing appeals under the Civil Service Code.

Notes to Editors

1. Further information about the work of the Civil Service Commissioners is available at http://www.civilservicecommissioners.org.

2. The Civil Service Commissioners are independent of Ministers and the Civil Service. They are responsible for maintaining the principle of recruitment to the Civil Service through selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. They also advise Departments on the promotion of the Civil Service Code and hear and determine appeals from civil servants under it.

3. Civil Service Commissioners are appointed by the Crown under the Royal Prerogative. There are currently 14 (part-time) Commissioners, who were recruited following open competition. Janet Paraskeva is the senior Commissioner, known as the First Commissioner.

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