HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 cc91-2W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy for agencies acting on behalf of his Department to recruit senior staff on the basis of open competition only; and if he will make a statement. [103902]

Mr. Kilfoyle

My Department currently has 42 agencies. The Chief Executives of 28 of these have already been or will, next time around, be appointed following an open competition. The remaining 14 Chief Executives are all military officers.

In addition, a number of Chief Executives have chosen to recruit senior staff at Senior Civil Service, grade 6 and grade 7 levels by open competition on fixed term appointments, within the authority laid out in their Agency Framework Documents.

In line with Sir Richard Wilson's recent report to the Prime Minister on Civil Service Reform, my Department has a target over the next five years to achieve a 10 per cent. year-on-year increase in open competitions for middle and senior managers across the Department, particularly aimed at bringing in new thinking and people who have skills that are currently in short supply.