asked Her Majesty's Government:
In the case of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, how many (a) voluntary and (b) compulsory redundancies have been taken to date as a result of the Gershon review; what is the total departmental bill for each type of redundancy; and what is the natural wastage during the Gershon period to date for the department. [HL1066]
Following the Gershon review, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) carried out a restructuring exercise both among senior management structure/senior Civil Service equivalent and among staff in the delegated grades to realise efficiency savings. It is the policy of the FCO to do all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies. A trawl in November 2004 resulted in a number of early retirements. As a result of that trawl:
efficiency savings of 67 senior management structure/senior Civil Service equivalent positions were achieved. These officers took the compulsory early retirement or severance packages at a cost to the FCO of £14,853,645; and
210 delegated grade officers took flexible early retirement or severance packages at a cost to the FCO of £15,268,766.
Our natural wastage rate over this period was 7.8 per cent.
This restructuring programme will enable us to reduce the size of the senior management structure in the FCO by 18 per cent by 31 March 2008.
The amounts quoted include FCO costs to the Cabinet Office to cover the additional years included in the packages, compensatory lump sums under the compulsory early retirement scheme of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, and annual pension payments until the officer reaches 60.
All payments to early retirees have been calculated and paid in strict accordance with the terms of the standard Civil Service compensation schemes of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.