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Civil Servants: Location

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which recommendations of the 2004 review of public sector relocation undertaken by Sir Michael Lyons have been implemented. (312272)

Over the last six years the Government have used Sir Michael Lyons' 2004 review to deliver significant relocation of civil service posts out of London and the south-east.

The Government have made strong progress in implementing the Lyons review's recommendations. At pre-Budget report 2009, it was announced that the relocations programme has moved nearly 21,000 civil service posts out of London and the south-east—nearly a year ahead of schedule. At Budget 2009, the Government illustrated their commitment to the relocations agenda by agreeing to relocate a further 4,000 posts by March 2010.

These relocations would not have been possible without the Government's willingness to implement the review's recommendations and to make the necessary investment.

To ensure that Departments engaged in the relocations programme, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) published mandatory guidance. The guidance (DAO 05/05) ensures that Government Departments, their executive agencies and sponsored bodies, at appropriate property events, provide evidence that illustrates their business need to stay in London.

To take things further ‘Putting the Front Line First: Smarter Government’ announced that Ian Smith would lead an independent review on relocations. The review will report in time for Budget and will outline how at least 10 per cent. of all civil service posts currently based in London and the south-east can be relocated in the medium term.