HC Deb 24 June 1974 vol 875 cc983-4
38. Mr. Tyler

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many temporary staff are currently employed in each Government Department, respectively; and if he is satisfied that no serious loss of administrative efficiency, or potential security danger, is involved in the employment of temporary staff.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

With permission, I will circulate details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

There are disadvantages involved in employing temporaries but there is no alternative where staff shortages would cause an unacceptable strain on permanent staff. I am satisfied that the relevant security procedures are adequate.

Mr. Tyler

May I express my gratitude to the Minister for his reply? Is he satisfied with the recruitment rate, particularly to the Department of the Environment and to the Property Services Agency, which I understand is having considerable problems at present, particularly among design staff, and is therefore having to go to agencies for temporary staff? Is the Minister satisfied that the morale of staff within the Department of the Environment and the Property Services Agency is sufficient to make it possible to improve the situation for the future?

Mr. Sheldon

Nobody can be satisfied with the recruitment level for Civil Service jobs in a number of grades within the central London area. As regards the problems of the Department to which the hon. Gentleman referred, I am looking generally into the question of agency staff and hope to be able to make a statement at the earliest possible moment, if called upon to do so.

Following are the details:—

The information as at 1st January 1974 is as follows:

Government Department Number of Temporary Agency Staff
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 47
Cabinet Office 4
Central Office of Information 34
Civil Service Department (and sub-Departments) 70
Customs and Excise 16
Ministry of Defence (including Procurement Executive) 117
Department of Education and Science 20
Department of Employment 91
Department of the Environment (including Property Services Agency) 739
Export Credits Guarantee Department 51
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 35
Department of Health and Social Security 204
Home Office 42
Ministry of Overseas Development 52
Department of Trade and Industry 268
HM Treasury (and sub-Departments) 56
HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor 26
Welsh Office 2
Total 1,874