HC Deb 06 February 1989 vol 146 cc645-6
70. Mr. Colvin

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how much money he expects to be spent in meeting the recommendations of the report "Service to the Public".

Mr. Luce

There are no formal recommendations in the "Service to the Public" occasional paper. The views expressed in it are those of the officials who undertook the management study. The resources devoted to service to the public are a matter for Ministers of individual Departments. The paper is about how best to improve services within a given level of resources or how most cost effectively to provide a specified level of service.

Mr. Colvin

Will my right hon. Friend acknowledge that the courtesy shown by civil servants when dealing with hon. Members' problems and those of their constituents is second to none? It is not always so, however, when it comes to responding to the general public. Does my right hon. Friend agree that being a civil servant means providing a service and being civil? What can he do to improve the manner in which civil servants treat members of the general public?

Mr. Luce

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of what he mentions. There should be good relations between civil servants and the public. It is interesting to note that 95 per cent. of civil servants deal in some way with the provision of services, whether to the public or to specialist groups. A wide range of training courses is available to help civil servants achieve a good relationship with the public. We should be in no doubt that civil servants want to be able to provide a service—it provides much more job satisfaction. It is right to give priority to better training facilities.