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Use of consultants and temporary staff
New skills needed in a longer term UK NAO: Used well, consultants and temporary staff can be an important source of specialist skills and capabilities that are uneconomic for departments to maintain in their permanent staff. Since 2009-10, the government has used spending controls to reduce its use of consultants and temporary staff, and by 2014-15 spending had fallen by £1.5 billion. However, spending has increased by between £400 million and £600 million since 2011-12, suggesting that this was more of a short-term reduction than a sustainable strategy. In the longer term, departments will need to develop workforce, skills and capacity plans to reduce their dependence on external skills. They will need to improve their strategic workforce planning to determine where they can deploy existing staff, where they need to recruit, and where they need to engage temporary resources. Without this, departments cannot demonstrate that they are achieving value for money from the use of consultants and temporary staff.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2016
Risk cases: 7
Central government staff costs
Results of staff reductions The British NAO found that departments had significantly reduced numbers of their civil servants and of course salary costs at the same time. But they reduced staff numbers mainly by minimising recruitment, and the age profile of the civil service has changed. NAO pays a lot attention to what effect this has had on the future pipeline of talent and skills. It reminds also that the departments need long-term operating models to work efficiently with the staff reduced.
Full description
National Audit Office , issued in 2015
Risk cases: 5
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