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Departmental Manpower

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and its predecessors and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. (313245)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was created in June 2009 from the former Department for Innovation for Universities and Skills (DIUS) and former Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). DIUS was created in 2007 from the former DTI and the Department for Education and Skills.

Between July 2004 and the end of 2006, the Department of Trade and Industry had 488 people in transition; the average transition for these people was approximately three months; no estimate was made of the salary costs of these staff during this period and approximately 17 per cent. of employees in transition were classed as being surplus for more than six months.

During 2007, DI/BERR had 491 people in transition; the average transition was seven weeks; no estimate was made of the salary costs of these staff during this period and approximately 5 per cent. of those in transition were classed as being surplus for more than six months. DIUS had nobody who was classed as surplus.

During 2008, there were fewer than five people in transition in BERR. Further information is therefore suppressed on grounds of confidentiality. The information was not collected in former DIUS.

During 2009 the Department (DIUS and BERR and then BIS) had 11 people in transition; the average transition was 10 weeks; no estimate was made of the salary costs of these staff during this period and approximately 35 per cent. of those in transition were classed as being surplus for more than six months.

I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the National Measurement Office and the Intellectual Property Office and they will respond to the hon. Member directly.

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 4 March 2010:

The Minister of State, for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has asked me to reply to your question regarding how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and its predecessors and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year.

The Insolvency Service has not had any staff in transition within the last five years prior to being managed out, therefore no estimation of salary costs was necessary.

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 1 February 2010:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office to your Parliamentary Question, tabled on 20 January, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills asking how many employees are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in each of the last five years; and for estimates of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year together with the proportion of employees in transition which were classed as being so for more than six months in each year.

There are currently no employees within the Agency who have been officially declared surplus.

With regard to the position over the last five years, I am advised that I am unable, on grounds of confidentiality, to provide information where there are less than five people in this category. There is, however, one instance that is in the public domain—described on page 33 of the 2007-2008 Annual Report and Accounts of the Agency (then known as the National Weights & Measures Laboratory).

Letter from Sean Dennehey, dated 25 January 2010:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 20 January 2010, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office began its first redeployment exercise in April 2009. A total of 48 staff were declared surplus in 2009/10 and therefore in transition prior to being managed out. A total of 40 staff have been redeployed, 19 to internal vacancies and 21 externally. There are currently 8 staff in transition. On average, the 40 staff redeployed remained in the transition for 4 months. The budgeted salary cost for this exercise was £425k. 16 people were in transition for more than 6 months.

Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 22 January 2010:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 20 January 2010, UIN 313245, to the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Companies House has not managed out any employees from the Agency in the last five years.