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Headcount swells… but Gov still ‘understaffed’ in all but one department

Headcount swells… but Gov still ‘understaffed’ in all but one department

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Headcount swells… but Gov still ‘understaffed’ in all but one department

Tuesday 28 February 2023

There are vacant posts in every single government department bar one, it has emerged - despite headcount having increased by 1,000 in the past five years.

The government currently has 671 vacancies, according to newly released figures.

Where are the vacancies?

Health and Community Services had the highest number of jobs needing to be filled at 267.

IHE (Infrastructure, Housing and Environment) has 147 vacancies, followed by CYPES (Children, Young People, Education and Skills) with 126.

Justice and Home Affairs has 40 unfilled roles, Treasury has 35, while the Cabinet Office and Non-executive Departments have 24 each.

The Department for the Economy has just seven, while External Relations has one.

Customer and Local Services is the only department not reported to be understaffed.

The figures were released yesterday by Chief Minister Kristina Moore, in her capacity as Chair of the States Employment Board, following a question from Deputy Max Andrews.

In her response, Deputy Moore explained that not all roles were being actively recruited for - in some cases, the government may have made a decision to "delay [recruitment] or defer going to market".

Gov's ballooning headcount

It recently emerged that the government's headcount had swelled by more than 1,000 people in the past five years.

At the end of 2018, the States staff headcount stood at 7,012 with 166 people classed in the top-earning bracket (£100,000+).

But the end-of-year figures for 2022 show that the public sector ballooned to 8,127 with 209 in the £100,000+ bracket.

And each of the top three earning brackets – £60,000 to £79,999, £80,000 to £99,999 and £100,000+ – increased from the previous years.

Gov headcount

Pictured: the official table showing headcount in the public sector.

Between the end of 2021 and the end of 2022, the data showed that the full-time equivalent headcount – which factors in part-time staff – had increased by more than 300 employees.

Spending on consultants and external labour stood at around £100m in the first half of 2022.

The figures for the latter part of the year, which covers the current government's first six months in office, are yet to be published.

More than £1 in every £10 of that spending went on agency healthcare and social workers.

Meanwhile, Education is currently spending £23,000 a month on UK supply teachers, while the Environment Minister recently revealed that the Planning Department is making use of officers based in the UK to help tackle a backlog of applications.

The impact of OneGov

Past and present Treasury Ministers have previously laid the blame for the growing headcount and high level of spending on external labour at former Chief Executive Charlie Parker's door.

Mr Parker had pledged that his 'OneGov' vision - which involved tearing up the then-current government structure and creating new departments - would create efficiencies and reduce the size of the workforce.

Charlie Parker

Pictured: The OneGov plan was unveiled by former CEO Charlie Parker in 2018.

Current Treasury Minister Deputy Ian Gorst, who was the Chief Minister who recruited Mr Parker, told the Politics Disassembled Podcast last year: "That programme at the start we said was going to save money and reduce the size of government – we sit here today and we're spending £200m more than what we were per annum and we've got hundreds more staff in Government. That's not what my vision is, that's not what my vision was."

Meanwhile, the last administration's Treasury Minister, Susie Pinel, previously told Express that more civil servants had had to be employed in order to "pursue the model that was introduced by the former CEO Mr Parker, and it's taken quite a while to put everything in place."


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Gov headcount swells by more than 1,000 after OneGov (2022)

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