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Civil Service: Performance Monitoring

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 24 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the policies and practices for dealing with poor performance and incompetence among employed government officials. [HL1291]

Responsibility for setting policies and practices for dealing with poor performance for staff below the senior Civil Service is delegated to individual departments and agencies under the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992.

The Civil Service Management Code, under which this delegation is given, requires departments and agencies to have in place performance review systems and reporting arrangements which are capable of identifying performance which is unsatisfactory or unacceptable. The performance of all members of the senior Civil Service is also for individual departments and agencies to manage within a central framework determined by the Cabinet Office, which includes provisions for managing poor performance.

Where ongoing unsatisfactory performance is identified, whatever the grade of the individual, departments and agencies are required to have procedures in place that should either result in a return to satisfactory performance or an exit from the service. The individual is informed of the areas were performance falls below the expected standards, what support they will receive to assist them to improve and the timeframe in which they will need to do so. Where the required level of improvement is not forthcoming, dismissal is the ultimate sanction.