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Bonus Payments

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in his Department each year since 2001-02; and how many civil servants received bonuses in each year. (101032)

The following tables give the number of non-pensionable bonuses awarded to DFID staff in each of the last four years (figures for 2001-02 are not available) together with the total costs in each of those years.

Non-pensionable bonuses awarded to DFID senior civil servants (SCS)

Number of awards

Total cost (£)













Non-pensionable bonuses awarded to DFID staff below SCS

Number of awards

Total cost (£)













To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria a civil servant in his Department must fulfil (a) to be considered for a bonus on top of their regular salary and (b) to be awarded a bonus. (101033)

Different arrangements apply to the bonus awards paid to senior civil servants (SCS) and those paid to staff in grades below the SCS.

Senior civil servants (SCS)

In addition to base pay increases, SCS are eligible for non-consolidated bonus awards. Bonuses are intended to reward delivery of personal business objectives during the reporting year, or other short-term personal contributions to wider organisational objectives. In considering SCS staff for bonuses, line managers are asked to take into account:

performance against agreed priority business objectives or targets;

total delivery record over the year;

relative stretch (i.e. the challenge of the job compared to that of others); and

responses to unforeseen events.

DFID’s SCS Pay Committee considers line managers' recommendations and make their final decision on who should receive a bonus award based on the evidence provided.

Staff below the SCS

DFID operates a Special Achievement Award (SAA) scheme for staff below the SCS. The scheme rewards and recognises staff (both individuals and teams) who make a special contribution in line with DFID values. Awards can be made throughout the year. To be eligible for consideration for an award, individuals or teams need to complete a piece of work or make a sustained effort that makes a special contribution to the work of DFID.

Because of the wide range of work undertaken by DFID, both at home and overseas, we have not defined broad criteria across the organisation as a whole. Directors define and publish specific criteria for Special Achievement Awards within their Divisions. This will typically include:

sustained effort in unusual circumstances;

a one off high quality contribution;

innovative thinking which helps the office operate more efficiently; and

going the “extra mile” to achieve a particular task or objective.

Nominations for SAAs are passed to Directors for consideration and are marked successful or unsuccessful. Directors share their Divisional criteria with fellow Directors for information, with the aim of promoting consistency across DFID.