Tag: Jestek

first_imgHundreds of civil service jobs for Brexit negotiators have not been filled days before talks formally begin about the UK’s departure from the European Union, the public spending watchdog has warned. The Government has created jobs for over 1,000 civil servants to negotiate Brexit but only filled two thirds of them just days before talks formally start, the publc spending watchdog has found.The report will cause alarm in Whitehall because Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will formally start the two year process of Britain leaving the EU on Wednesday next week. It suggested that projects should be prioritised, with the Government halting schemes that “it is not confident it has the capacity to deliver”. The NAO said: “Government projects too often go ahead without government knowing whether departments have the skills to deliver them.”The report said: “Government is facing ever-increasing challenges in providing public services. Continuing budgetary restraint is putting pressure on departments, which are already managing important reforms with fewer staff and smaller budgets.  It said ministers had accepted the need to do more on workforce planning but “progress so far has been slower than the growth in the challenges the civil service is facing”.The NAO said Brexit will add to the strain on a civil service already struggling to cope with major projects.The Government needed to show “greater urgency” in filling skills gaps in Whitehall, it said. “The decision to leave the EU also means government will have to take on tasks previously undertaken by others, requiring the development of skills not previously planned for.”Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “Government has gaps in its capability and knows it must do more to develop the skills it needs. A report from the public spending watchdog said in a report that hundreds of jobs remain unfilled at the Department for Exiting the European Union and Department for International Development.The National Audit Office said: “As of February 2017, the civil service has created over a thousand new roles in the new departments and elsewhere to prepare for exiting the EU and negotiating new trade agreements.“Two-thirds of the roles have been filled, mostly by transferring staff from elsewhere in government. There has not been a commensurate increase in the overall size of the civil service.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img There has not been a commensurate increase in the overall size of the civil serviceNational Audit Office “It is making plans to do so but the scale of the challenge ahead means greater urgency is needed. “Without a short-term solution to its capability gaps, government must get better at planning and prioritising its activities and be prepared to stop work on those it is not confident it has the capability to deliver.”Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of Civil Service, said: “The UK is well placed to deal with the challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities, that lie ahead as we prepare for Brexit.“We are focused on delivering this Government’s commitment to leave the EU and get the very best deal for the UK. We are equipping ourselves with the right people and the right skills across government to make this happen. Leaving the European Union will “further increase the capability challenges” facing the Government, it said, as officials take on responsibilities previously handled in Brussels. “At the same time, the civil service is also working hard to make sure that all the priorities of the Government are being delivered.”last_img read more