Jacob Rees-Mogg warns mandarins to stop blocking plans to transform Britain: Brexit minister launches ‘value for taxpayers money’ review into civil service to see how well they are implementing government decisions
- Brexit opportunities Minister, has launched a ‘value for taxpayer’s money review
- To be led by Lord Maude, who led reform of mandarins under David Cameron
- Will look at whether civil servants implementing the decisions of Cabinet
Civil servants are to be investigated over how well they are implementing ministers decisions under a new efficiency drive.
It is expected to include a root and branch analysis of the civil service, with Francis Maude tasked with examining how ministers decisions are ‘informed, recorded, transmitted, then implemented by departmental officials’.
He will also look at ‘whether the civil servants responsible for implementing the decisions of Cabinet . . . are suitably empowered and have adequate levers at their disposal to deliver against expectations,’ the Times reported.
The review will not be completed before Boris Johnson’s successor is appointed in September. But a source told MailOnline: ‘It’s an important part of delivering civil service reform. Lord Maude is probably the foremost expert in the subject and we are grateful to him for doing this work pro-bono, it will offer very important insight for the next PM.’
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit opportunities Minister, has launched a ‘value for taxpayer’s money review to be led by Lord Maude, who led reform of mandarins under David Cameron.
A source told MailOnline: ‘It’s an important part of delivering civil service reform. Lord Maude is probably the foremost expert in the subject and we are grateful to him for doing this work pro-bono, it will offer very important insight for the next PM.’
It came as new figures show that more than a third of desks are empty in most Whitehall departments.
Cabinet Office data shows that 15 out of 19 government departments were less than two-thirds full the week before last.
In the headquarters of the Foreign Office, the department with the worst record, occupancy was at just 35 per cent on average over the week.
HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office – which is responsible for the Ukraine refugee scheme – were all half empty.
And, with summer holidays now under way, the proportion of empty chairs in Whitehall headquarters has risen in some offices compared with a month earlier.
Working from home has become embedded in offices across the country despite the risks from Covid fading after the success of Britain’s vaccine programme.
Tory MPs and ministers have demanded that civil servants should return to the office to halt the decline in the quality of public services.
Mr Rees-Mogg has fought in vain with senior mandarins to get Whitehall officials back to work.
But government bodies quietly agreed to ‘hybrid’ working policies this year that only require staff to be present two days a week.
Yesterday Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘Whitehall remains ghostly while British taxpayers wait on new passports and driving licences. Though a dip over the summer might be expected, our voters do not expect mandarins to be absent without leave. Government must continue. It does not work from home.’
But Civil Service head Simon Case has said ‘hybrid working has been part of the way the civil service works for a decade’.