asked the Minister for the Civil Service (1) if he will publish in the Official Report details, by grade and Department, of the numbers of civil servants in the administrative, executive and clerical structure who are employed in offices outwith Scotland, but who have expressed a wish to serve in a Civil Service office in Scotland; and if he is satisfied that such figures are reliable as indicating the extent of the problem;(2) what efforts are being made to meet the wishes of those civil servants, employed outwith Scotland, who have expressed a wish to serve in Scotland;
(3) whether steps will be taken to ensure that vacancies in the administrative, executive and clerical grades arising in Government offices located in Scotland are filled not only by officers already in Scotland but by those serving outwith Scotland even though this might involve a change in the employing Department.
Departments are responsible for the management of their own staff and do what they can to meet the wishes of individuals for postings to particular locations, including Scotland. Given the total size of the Civil Service—there are over 250,000 staff in the administrative, executive and clerical structure alone—it is not practicable to set up standing arrangements for inter-departmental transfers for staff who wish to move to Scotland or to any other location, but there is machinery in my Department for arranging such moves in compassionate cases.There is no central record of the number of staff who have expressed a wish to move to Scotland.As a result of the decisions on the dispersal of Civil Service work from London taken last July some 7,000 posts will be dispersed to the Glasgow area. This will provide opportunity for civil servants engaged on the work being dispersed, or elsewhere within the Departments concerned or the Service as a whole, to volunteer for transfer to Scotland.