HC Deb 23 February 1976 vol 906 c20
29. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what cost-effective techniques have been introduced into the use of the non-industrial Civil Service.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

The Civil Service uses a wide variety of techniques to ensure the cost-effectiveness of its operations. If my right hon. Friend is interested in a particular technique, perhaps he will let me know.

Mr. Stonehouse

What concerns me and many others is that the techniques do not work. How does the Minister explain that, the work load during the last 12 years having gone up by between 5 per cent. and 8 per cent., despite the introduction of expensive computers the size of the non-industrial Civil Service has gone up by 30 per cent? What is being done about it?

Mr. Morris

As my right hon. Friend will remember from the period when he had responsibility for Post Office administration, there are various management service techniques for looking at the jobs that civil servants do and how they are organised. Staff inspectors keep a regular eye on the way in which Civil Service jobs are manned and graded. I do not accept the statistics that my right hon. Friend gave.

Mr. Stokes

Will the Minister consider calling on the help of experts from Messrs. Marks and Spencer to reduce the amount of paperwork in the Civil Service?

Mr. Morris

That is a very interesting supplementary question. The Civil Service is always open to good advice. In recent times we have suffered from a surfeit of good advice.

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