FOR SENIOR The long game

MANAGERS AND Dave Penman on Brexit,
PROFESSIONALS Opinion
pay and the big squeeze
on Whitehall

The art of
conversations
Rethinking perfomance
management

@FDA_union
@We_are_keystone
SPRING 2017

Be straight,
be honest
Public Accounts Committee
Chair Meg Hillier says civil
servants need more freedom to
talk openly about their work.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 1
Keystone: fully opening up the benefits of
FDA membership to HEOs and SEOs.

Help strengthen your union and share information on
the benefits, career development and support provided
for your HEO or SEO colleagues.
Find out more, including how to join, at: wearekeystone.org.uk
In this issue
Don’t forget you can follow your union on Twitter
@FDA_union @We_are_keystone

Welcome

Kay Hender, Editor
Since civil service chief
executive John Manzoni
publicly said he didn’t like
the current performance
management system, its
future has looked shaky.
On page 18, I speak to key figures involved
12 24
in developing a new peformance manage-
ment system, and share the FDA’s view on Organising  4 Features
how it should be reformed. Organiser Becky Billington looks back on The good, the bad and
Also looking to the future following FDA’s successful recruitment campaign the ugly 16
his recent re-election, General Secretary in 2016, and forward to the union’s Public Accounts Committee chair Meg
Dave Penman tells Matt Ross about his plans for 2017. Hillier talks to PSM editor Kay Hender
upcoming plans for the union. I speak
about holding government to account
with Public Accounts Committee Chair FDA and Keystone events 6
Meg Hillier about the PAC’s treatment for delivering public services.
A full report from FDA’s first skills event
of civil servants and her views on Fair, flexible and forward
on the civil service after Brexit.
grandstanding, while our new Staff Writer, looking 18
Tommy Newell, calls for nominations for
Masterclass7 Kay Hender investigates plans for a new
the 2017 FDA equality award.
How you can learn to code civil service perfomance management
This will be my last issue for a while,
as my own future will be taken up with system to replace the discredited
my first baby – I leave you in the capable Work8 practice of ‘forced distribution’.
hands of Acting Editor Craig Ryan. As An insight into a school inspector’s
Playing the long game 20
always, he’ll appreciate any feedback – working week, one member’s alternative
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman
please email psm@fda.org.uk with your career and news on starters, movers and
talks Brexit and shares his plans for the
comments. leavers within the civil service.
long-term future of the union with Matt
Published by FDA Ross.
Elizabeth House, 6th Floor, 39 York Road,
News10
London SE1 7NQ. T: 020 7401 5555 FDA calls for major review of SCS Wendy Jones Equality
www.fda.org.uk | info@fda.org.uk pay; Union defends civil servants Award 22
Acting Editor – Craig Ryan
following Letwin attack; Cabinet Tommy Newell speaks to previous award
T: 020 8532 9224 psm@fda.org.uk Office minister Ben Gummer to speak winners and calls for nominations for
at FDA conference; Budget fails to the 2017 awards
Staff Writers – Tommy Newell, Matt Foster
T: 020 7401 5588
back civil servants over Brexit; FDA
criticises suspension of fair and open Reviews24
Design – Chapman Design competition; Building work begins on Books: A Woman’s Work; Nothing But A
T: 07946 591303 info@chapmandesign.net Circus. Technology: Amazon Echo Smart
new FDA head office.
Advertising – Simon Briant Speaker
SDB Marketing Opinion14
T: 01273 594455 simon@sdbmarketing.co.uk Gavin Freeguard argues the government Going Public 28
Printers - Captiv8 UK Ltd needs to make better use of data to Alan the Away Day Aficionado
T: 01892 611500 www.captiv8uk.co.uk meet the Brexit challenge.
All articles © Public Service Magazine 2017 or the author. The
Crossword29
contents may not be reproduced without permission. Writers’ Neil Rider explains FDA plans to expand
views are not necessarily those of Public Service Magazine or
its learning and development services. Members’ small ads 30
the FDA. ISSN 1460-8936

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 3
Organising
Organising across departments throughout the UK

In her final report as FDA
Organiser, Rebecca Billington
looks back at the FDA’s
successful recruitment
campaign in 2016 and forward
to a number of exciting events
in 2017.

As part of our organising
strategy, we began a
recruitment campaign
last year which involved
a roadshow of events in
government departments
throughout the UK. This
roadshow was based on the success of
our Civil Service Live events in recent
years, and so far we have visited more
than 15 departments, introduced the
union to thousands of civil servants and
recruited many new members.
We succeeded in raising the profile of
both FDA and Keystone in all locations,
with a stand at each event to display our
literature and promotional materials,
and by speaking to members and non-
members about the benefits of union
membership. We have continued the
recruitment campaign into 2017, when
we are planning to get out to even more
departments across the UK. Keystone Organiser Sue Hollywood-
Having the opportunity to speak to our Powell and FDA National Officer Victoria
members directly is really important, Taylor at the union’s recruitment stand
in the Ministry of Justice.
as it helps to encourage activism within
branches, allowing them to grow and
the FDA to become a more sustainable,
organising union. The role of the rep
can seem like an onerous one and many head office by emailing organiser@fda. If you are interested in becoming
members just don’t feel they have the org.uk.
more active in your branch,
time to spare. But at these events we can Just as importantly, these events give
talk openly about how individuals can us the opportunity to speak to non- please contact your local branch
get involved as little or as much as they members and potential members, raising officer (their details can be
like, and the benefits that can come with the profile of the union and learning accessed on the My FDA page
being a union rep. We encourage any how we can best help them. Face-to- when you log into the FDA
members who are interested in learning face meetings allow us to answer any website), or email
more about getting involved in the union questions people may have about joining organiser@fda.org.uk for more
to get in touch with either their local the union which they may otherwise information.
departmental rep or directly with FDA never get round to asking.

4 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Organising

Joining up organising across
departments
Getting out to the regions is always
high on our list of priorities because
FDA members are spread across the
whole of the UK. We may not get to
visit some locations as often as we
would like, but it’s important for us
to make sure we are hearing from all
members about the issues affecting
them. Some of the feedback we have
been receiving at these regional events
suggests some members feel isolated
when their departments are not based
in a government ‘hub’ office. This
is a hot issue at present due to the
Government’s ‘Super Hub’ program
which is leading to the rationalisation
of estates.
One of the issues raised by members
affected by this programme is how
to organise in a multiple occupancy
environment, bringing branches and COME AND
MEET US
sections together where there are AT CIVIL
multiple departments or even private SERVICE
companies co-located within a building, LIVE
and where the opportunity to use Looking ahead
communal areas for meet and greet
sessions may be restricted. 2017 is already looking to be a busy
One possible solution is that adopted year for FDA and Keystone, with
by the Government Legal Department additional dates and locations for
(GLD) branch. Here, FDA members both our Women into Leadership
have been moved into the new GLD
branch although they continue to
events and Civil Service Live
work in the offices of their previous exhibitions.
employer, at their original desk. FDA
reps are actively involved with their Last year we held our seventh annual
new GLD branch but can also sit in as Women into Leadership event in London
observers at their old departmental along with our first conferences in
branch meetings, allowing cross- Scotland and Leeds. The Women into
departmental organising, which is Leadership conferences have been
mutually beneficial to both branches. growing in popularity year-on-year, and
We are inviting members and reps to the outstanding feedback we receive
get in touch with more examples of this after each event prompted us to take the
kind of joined-up working or any ideas conference to Scotland and Leeds. Both
about how we can spread this practice turned out to be just as successful as our
to other departments. Please send your London events.
comments to organiser@fda.org.uk. This year, we are continuing the
conferences in London, Scotland and
And finally… farewell! Leeds and have already extended our
I personally won’t be attending Civil reach into Wales, hosting the first Women
Service Live this year as I left my into Leadership event in Cardiff on 16
position as Organiser at FDA at the end March. Dods, by visiting the website www.
of February. After four years with the We are also extending the reach of civilservicelive.com (www.nicslive.
union, I decided the time had come for our Civil Service Live exhibition in 2017, com for the Belfast event) as soon as
me to pursue other opportunities. It was adding two additional dates to the registration opens.
a pleasure working with you all. Thank roadshow. This year, FDA and Keystone
you for your supporting both me and the will have stalls at each of the Civil Service We encourage you to attend and pop by
union, and I would like to wish you all Live events. Civil servants can find out the FDA and Keystone stands to say hello
the best in the future. more and register to attend directly with to the team.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 5
FDA and Keystone events

Above: FDA General

The civil service
Secretary Dave Penman
chairs a panel discussion
on the civil service post-
Brexit. Below left: IfG

after Brexit
Deputy Director Julian
McCrae. Below right: civil
service Chief People Officer
Rupert McNeil.

In late 2016, the FDA held its first skills
event on Brexit, entitled ‘The civil service
in a new European landscape: unlocking
future skills’.
The one-day session aimed to help
civil servants understand the new
demands placed on them, and identify
resources to develop their skills. The
heavyweight line-up of speakers
included the Permanent Secretary
at the Department for Exiting the EU
(DExEU), Oliver Robbins, Civil Service quite difficult choices", while adding that be done on a muddling-through basis,”
Chief People Officer Rupert McNeil and “Brexit will force us to be much better at McCrae added.
the Deputy Director of the Institute for knowledge transfer”. KPMG also ran a session on its work
Government (IfG), Julian McCrae. DExEU Permanent Secretary Oliver with Civil Service Learning, supporting
Organised in conjunction with Dods Robbins spoke about what Brexit means the development of new skills and
and KPMG, the event was chaired by FDA for the civil service, the skills needed supplementing existing expertise.
General Secretary Dave Penman, who now, and what the civil service will look
said he hoped “this would be the first of like by the end of 2017. FDA and Keystone host regular
many events – and not just in London”. He said the civil service would need to events to help members with
Penman also called on the Government be “at its policy and analysis best” and their career development
to “provide clear political direction stressed the importance of civil servants and progression. For more
and ensure that the civil service has in all departments acquiring negotiating on upcoming sessions,
the capacity and capability it needs to skills – not just those in the Foreign Office go to www.fda.org.uk/
successfully deliver Brexit”. or DExEU. professionaldevelopment/FDA_
Chief People Officer Rupert McNeil IfG's Julian McCrae said Brexit will workshops.aspx or
highlighted the importance of what he bring "a huge amount of policy issues www.wearekeystone.org.uk/
called “revealed competence” – the which need prioritisation”, adding keyskills-courses
strengths and adaptability of the civil that “only Ministers can do that”. He
service – and “realised incompetence” – discussed the timescale for developing If you have any suggestions or
“being alert to the things you know you and implementing policy and whether “a ideas for topics for FDA Learn or
don't know”. transitional regime is needed”. Keyskills courses, please contact
He admitted that the civil service has After Brexit, there seems to be a “much our career development head,
“finite capacity” and needs “to take some greater recognition that change can't Neil Rider, at neil@fda.org.uk.

6 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Demystifying
digital
Digital skills trainer Craig
Steele debunks myths about
computer programming
and explains why everyone
should try learning to code.

You don’t need to be a genius from people in the field. Find an approach controlled by code, you become a ‘digital
Computer programming isn’t as that works for you, whether you start maker’ rather than just a consumer of
complicated as some people think. You with theory or a hands-on project. digital technology.
do need great attention to detail, and
the ability to think through a problem You don’t need expensive It’s fun
logically and find creative solutions equipment You don’t have to build business-critical
using the tools you have. If you do this You don’t need the latest smartphone applications or tackle big technological
in your normal working life, you might or a high powered laptop to start coding. problems. Use your coding powers to
find you’re a natural coder. Many people Most family computers have more than create something fun. You could write
don’t realise they have an aptitude for enough processing power to create programmes to automate the lights
programming because they’ve never websites or build apps. in your house or play your favourite
tried it – and there’s never been a better music playlist when you wake up. Even
You already have the professional programmers have silly
time to start.
software you need side-projects to tinker with in their free
Code looks like English To code a simple website all you need is time.
Most programming languages use a text editor and a web browser, which
English-like words and phrases, have a come pre-installed with most computers. We’re living in a digital world
grammar and follow rules. Once you’ve You can use Notepad (on Windows) or Over the next ten years, many more
learned these rules you’ll be able to read TextEdit (Mac), alongside a web browser organisations we don’t think of as
and understand code as easily as reading like Firefox or Chrome. “tech” companies will be developing
a book. digital products and services. Even if
It’s creative you’re not involved in building them,
It takes a long time to master You’ll need a creative mind to tackle it’s useful to know how the code works.
Becoming a master programmer can programming challenges. By creating Understanding what’s possible using
take a lifetime, but you’ll be surprised your own websites, apps, games, or technology will be a key skill for future
how quickly you can learn to read and even music or interactive animations success.
understand code. Before you write your
own code, you practice by reading and
understanding code written by someone Find out more with FDA learn and Keyskills: career
else – just like you learned to read at development for members
school. FDA Learn and Keyskills run a variety of workshops and courses
designed to help members succeed and thrive in their careers, including
There are different ways to a collaboration with The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on
learn communication, presentation and networking courses.
Many programmers are self-taught, but FDA Learn:
you don’t have to learn on your own. www.fda.org.uk/professionaldevelopment/FDA_Workshops.aspx
There are plenty of books and online Keyskills:
courses to get you started, and you can www.wearekeystone.org.uk/keyskills-courses
attend a local tech meetup to pick up tips

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 7
Work
An insight into the changing roles of public servants

My Working Week
Peter Green does not face any surprises about the
potential outcome. After checking we
Peter works for Ofsted as one of have covered everything, I leave. It’s
Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) back to the hotel for dinner before
of Schools. He is joint convenor completing the necessary summary
of the FDA’s Ofsted section evidence forms and preparing for
and recently joined the FDA’s Wednesday.
Executive Committee.
Wednesday
After meeting the principal to check that
there are no concerns about the conduct
Monday of the team, and that the college is
My working pattern changes from one happy that we are not overlooking
week to another. Today is a preparation anything, it’s the same pattern as
day for a two-day inspection which I am Tuesday. Each inspector at the final team
leading on Tuesday and Wednesday. My meeting in the late afternoon provides
first task is the mundane job of checking their feedback to the vice-principal.
and clearing e-mails. I flag or deal with After question, challenge and answer,
those requiring action, such as answers the team collectively agrees the
to FDA members’ queries or concerns (I outcome. I record the details and collect
have a caseload of members whom I am the team’s evidence before members
supporting). Ten o’clock sees me leave. After gathering my thoughts and
speaking by Skype to the principal and collating the headline information, I
senior management of the college I am present the outcome to the senior
inspecting on Tuesday. We confirm the leadership team and the chair of
provisional arrangements made on the governors. My two-hour journey home
previous Friday and they answer my lets me unwind to a newly-acquired Bob
queries about the documents sent to me Marley CD. Another cup of tea at home, a
at the weekend. After attending our bowl of Kalamata olives, a brief chat with
weekly 11am team meeting of managers and students, and reading my wife and, finally, one of the
inspectors, again held remotely, it’s down relevant documents. When possible, it’s a highlights of my week – a game of
to finalising details and making sure all quick dip into the base-room for a tea, 6-a-side football at 9pm.
members of the inspection team are coffee or the like, an exchange of
prepared. I travel later in the evening to experiences with any team member who Thursday
my hotel to avoid traffic delays, have a may be there, and then out again. The I travel to London to support two FDA
meal, read the paper and get ready for pattern is repeated after a brief lunch members. The three-and-a-half hour
the inspection. until the team meeting at 4:30, when we journey affords me time to review the
share our provisional findings with the information again and prepare. I return
Tuesday college’s vice-principal, who answers home after the two meetings at 7:30pm.
Inspection. The inspection team of five queries and questions us. My role as lead
meets the college principal and inspector is to keep us on track, to Friday
management team. After our briefing, politely ensure that all team members I spend the day writing the inspection
we commence inspection activities: keep to their allotted time, and to ensure report, interspersed with phone calls
observing students and teachers in the vice-principal is informed about the from members, before ending it with a
lessons, meeting teachers, support staff, progress of the inspection so the college joyful game of five-a-side.

8 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Work

Revolving Door
Civil service starters, movers and leavers

Antonia Romeo has been appointed Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Chief Financial Officer and
as permanent secretary of the UK’s Tom Smith has been appointed as Corporate Performance Director at the
Department for International Trade Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Construction Industry Training Board,
(DIT). Romeo was previously consul Authority, replacing Stephen Henwood. will take up the role of Chief Executive
general in New York and director- Ian Ackerley has been appointed as on an interim basis. She
general economic affairs US. Chief Executive of National Savings and replaces Adrian Belton
Michael King has been appointed Investments. (left), who resigned in
as the new Local Government The Cabinet Office has appointed December.
Ombudsman in the Department for Lord Stunell OBE as a Liberal The Department for
Communities and Local Government. Democrat member of the Committee on Environment, Food and
He succeeds Dr Jane Martin, who has Standards in Public Life, replacing Lord Rural Affairs has appointed Richard
held the post since 2010. John Alderdice. Macdonald as Deputy Chairman of the
The Foreign and Commonwealth Sarah Beale, who has been Environment Agency (EA). MacDonald
Office has appointed Peter Wilson previously held the role on an interim
as Ambassador to the Kingdom of basis.
the Netherlands. Wilson moved from My alternative The Department of Health appointed
his role as Ambassador and Deputy career Jane Mordue as a non-executive
Permanent Representative at the UK Nick Short board member of the Care Quality
Mission to the UN in New York. Commission. Mordue, who is also Chair
Virginia McVea has of Healthwatch England, has been an
replaced Graham Shields interim board member of the CQC since
as Chief Electoral Officer Nick works for the December 2015.
for Northern Ireland in Department for Exiting the The Foreign and Commonwealth
the Northern Ireland European Union, where Office has appointed Laurie Bristow
Office. McVea moved he is also FDA Branch as Amabssador to Russia and Susanna
from her previous job as Director of Secretary. He splits his Moorehead as Ambassador to
the Northern Ireland Human Rights week between London and Ethiopia.
Commission. his Somerset home. Bronwen Maddox was
Sir Tim Barrow has been appointed I've had at least a dozen ideas for appointed as a non-
as the UK's Permanent Representative alternative careers since childhood, executive board member
to the European Union, replacing Sir mostly from the Action Hero stable – of the Law Commission
Ivan Rogers. Barrow was until recently police officer, astronaut, firefighter etc by the Ministry of Justice.
UK Ambassador to Russia. – but I've always had a secret wish to Maddox has been a
Sir David Metcalf was named as be a pilot. When I was young, my Director of the Institute for Government
the first Director of Labour Market father was in the Canadian Forces since September 2016.
Enforcement in the Department for (albeit not a pilot) and we lived near an The Foreign and Commonwealth
Business, Energy and Industrial airbase, with the Snowbirds (the Cana- Office has appointed Sarah MacIntosh
Strategy (BEIS), where he will oversee a dian Red Arrows) and all sorts of fancy as the UK’s permanent representative to
government crackdown on exploitation military airplanes flying over the NATO, replacing Sir Adam Thomson.
in the workplace. Metcalf previously garden. From Jumbo Jets to Russian In the Home Office, Owen Bowden-
chaired the Migration Advisory military helicopters, I've flown in all Jones has replaced Professor Les
Committee. sorts of aircraft as a passenger and Iversen as the new Chair of the Advisory
The Foreign and Commonwealth have loved every minute of it. Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Office have appointed Richard Unfortunately, two-dimensional Andy Williams is to retire as Chief
Lindsay as British High Commissioner vision (thanks to a severe squint as a Executive of NHS Digital at the end of
to Brunei Darussalam, succeeding baby) and terrible short-sightedness March. NHS Digital chief operating
David Campbell. Lindsay is expected – only recently corrected by laser officer Rob Shaw will act as interim
to take the appointment during the surgery – put paid to my dreams of chief executive.
summer. being the Canadian Maverick. But my
Alison Gold a former senior ground-based path through life led to Have you or someone you
executive at the BBC trust, has been marrying my wonderful wife and work with recently joined
named as a Project Director at the having my lovely little family, so I can’t or left the public service?
Competition and Markets Authority. say I’d change a thing! Please let us know at
In the Department for Business, psm@fda.org.uk

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 9
News
Share your news with us at psm@fda.org.uk

Pay reward framework is not fit for purpose
and more than a quarter want to leave

Pay talks delayed as FDA calls for the civil service as soon as possible.
Only a fifth of senior civil servants
believe their department has sufficient
major review of SCS pay resources to meet the demands of the
year ahead, while two thirds are now
Delegated pay talks across the civil service are likely to be delayed more inclined to look for a job outside
again because the Treasury has yet to meet with the FDA and other the civil service than they were 12
civil service unions to discuss the pay remit guidance for 2017-18. months ago.
“These results demonstrated that
For the senior civil service (SCS), the including “the overlap between the SCS the challenges of Brexit and existing
FDA is awaiting recommendations 1 pay band and delegated pay; two-tier government priorities are pushing the
from the Senior Salaries Review Body starting pay for internal and external service to its limits, while the SCS works
(SSRB) following the written and oral hires; and the lack of coherence in pay more hours for falling real terms pay,”
evidence submitted by the FDA and the policy, with areas like commercial and said Cooke.
government. digital being treated very differently The FDA believes these are strong
FDA Assistant General Secretary from others, inhibiting the mobility and grounds for a properly-resourced
Naomi Cooke said the union hoped the permeability of the SCS”. review of SCS reward and the union will
SSRB would address the union’s call The FDA has also presented the results continue to urge the government and
for fundamental reform of the SCS pay of its annual pay survey to the SSRB. civil service leadership to make this a
system and a number of other issues, 94% of respondents believe the current priority.

FDA defends civil servants against Letwin attack
The FDA has defended civil servants space of a few years, he bemoans the
following criticism from West Dorset lack of depth in policy advice. Whilst his
MP Sir Oliver Letwin, arguing that the government froze civil service pay for
former No.10 policy chief should be a three years, then restricted it to rises of
little more self-critical about his role in less than 1%, he rails at civil servants
the government’s policy failures. for moving jobs to get promotion
Giving evidence to an inquiry into the despite it being their only way to get a
work of the civil service being carried decent pay rise.
out by the Public Administration and "But what is also clear is that his
Constitutional Affairs Committee, perspective is that of a Whitehall-
Letwin criticised civil servants for bound minister, who fails to understand
moving between departments over the why leadership and management skills
course of their careers and accused are valued and rewarded in an
them of disguising a lack of in-depth organisation of 350,000 staff delivering
knowledge behind “prolixity and complex public services," Penman
jargon”. added.
Speaking to The Times, FDA General The FDA General Secretary also took
Secretary Dave Penman said he was Letwin to task in his latest column for
surprised that Letwin “fails to see any highlighted by Letwin have been Civil Service World, saying he believes
correlation between the actions of his caused by the government cuts the criticisms “demonstrate a minister
government and the problems that he imposed in recent years. who was divorced from the reality of
says he encountered”. Penman said he Penman explained: “Whilst staff what the 90% of the civil service he
believed that most of the problems numbers were slashed by 20% in the never met was actually doing”.

10 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
News

FDA in the media
February 2017

FDA's response to Oliver Letwin MP's
criticism of the civil service was featured
in The Times, Financial Times and Civil
Service World.
Oliver Letwin's attacks on civil servants
show an ex-minister divorced from the
reality of what they do
CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
Civil servants hide lack of facts with
jargon, says ex-minister
THE TIMES
Civil servants under attack from former
No 10 policy chief
FINANCIAL TIMES

Appearing on Sky News, FDA General
Secretary Dave Penman told reporters
ADC 2017
that the civil service has "risen to the
challenge" of Brexit, but stressed it must
Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer be given the resources it needs. His
comments ran on the Sky News website
to speak at FDA conference and in a report from the International
Business Times.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer has been confirmed Civil Service not ready to negotiate
as a guest speaker at the FDA’s 2017 Annual Delegate Conference Brexit, says former head Lord Kerslake
SKY NEWS
(ADC) on 11 May.
Former head of UK civil service claims it
is 'not in a fit state' to negotiate Brexit
At 39, Gummer is currently the youngest inclusive employer in the UK by 2020”, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

minister attending Cabinet meetings, as well as improving careers paths to FDA in the Independent, Civil Service
having taken over from Matt Hancock leadership positions. World and Public Sector Executive:
as Cabinet Office minister in July 2016 Along with expert speakers, Union raises concerns over relaxation of
following Theresa May’s appointment as professional development and rules recruiting civil servants for Brexit.
Prime Minister in the wake of the Brexit networking opportunities, the ADC also
Brexit experts to be paid up to £142,000
vote. offers FDA members the chance to shape
under relaxed government recruitment
Gummer has responsibility the union’s work in the years ahead.
rules
for co-ordinating the delivery of Delegates will debate a wide range of
INDEPENDENT
government policy across departments, motions on professional and workforce
Civil service union raises impartiality
public sector efficiency reform, the issues, as well as the future development
fears over Brexit-focused recruitment
digital transformation of government of the union itself.
changes
and civil service management, meaning Policies agreed by the ADC will
CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
he will play leading role in issues determine the work of the FDA – its
FDA warns of ‘cheerleader’ civil servants
affecting FDA members in the coming officers, branches and sections – over
under Brexit plans
years. the next 12 months, giving delegates a
PUBLIC SECTOR EXECUTIVE
In addition to Gummer, Civil Service direct influence on the priorities of the
Chief People Officer Rupert McNeil union and how it works to improve the January 2017
has also confirmed he will take part in working lives of members.
a panel session on the future of civil The FDA gained coverage in the
service pay. The ADC takes place on Thursday 11 Guardian, the Independent and other
McNeil, who took his post in January May at Hamilton House, Mabledon publications for its call for a change in
2016, is tasked with leading the HR Place in central London. All members the Government’s approach to public
functions across the civil service and are encouraged to attend as observers. sector pay
building the civil service workforce of Speak to your local Branch Secretary or Civil servants demand Brexit workload
the future. He has set himself the goal Convenor, or email adc@fda.org.uk, for pay rise
of making the civil service “the most more information. THE GUARDIAN

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 11
News

Budget collecting an additional £820m by 2020
despite Brexit, HMRC will see its budget
Budget fails to back public servants cut by 17% over the next three years.
FDA Assistant General Secretary Naomi

over Brexit challenge, says FDA Cooke said: “The Chancellor says he
wants to prepare Britain for a brighter
future outside the EU but has failed to
The FDA has criticised the government for failing to recognise the equip the public servants tasked with
scale of the Brexit challenge facing the civil service, after the impact delivering it.
of Britain leaving the EU was largely omitted from Chancellor Philip “In fact, Brexit, the biggest economic
Hammond’s Budget statement on 8 March. event facing the UK, hardly got a
mention. No additional resources for
Hammond announced he was sticking to given no relief from continuing cuts. departments looking into the eye of the
the target of delivering £3.5bn of savings Despite praise from the Chancellor for storm and no much-needed relief for the
by 2019-20, and departments that will be collecting an extra £140bn in tax revenue hundreds of thousands of civil servants
hit hard by Britain’s exit from the EU were since 2010, and being given the task of who will see the value of their pay
packets continue to fall.”
The FDA has warned that civil servants
on the frontline of the UK's exit from the
EU have already seen a real terms cut in
pay of more than 20% and that higher
inflation forecasts for the next two years
will mean that many civil servants will be
more than 25% worse off.
“The Government has once again
failed to recognise the challenge that
the civil service is facing and failed to
provide the additional resources needed
to deliver a successful Brexit for Britain,”
added Cooke. “Civil servants and the civil
service cannot continue to be taken for
granted in this way.”

Suspending open and fair competition for threaten the political impartiality of the
civil service.
Brexit is ‘a worrying development', says FDA “Brexit has been - and continues to be
– one of the most polarising political
The FDA has raised concerns over special arrangements to recruit events in recent times and it places an
temporary staff to tackle the challenge of Brexit, which relax the enormous challenge on both the
long-standing rules on fair and open competition for recruitment to Government and the civil service,”
the civil service. Penman explained. “There has rarely
been a time when the requirement for
The arrangements, announced by the Civil Brexit, the FDA is unconvinced that the the civil service to speak truth unto
Service Commission in February, mean requirement for open and fair selection power has been needed more, yet the
departments can be granted exceptions to should be set aside. Commission is suspending the
recruit staff in bulk without having to go FDA General Secretary Dave Penman requirement for open and fair selection,
through open and fair recruitment said he is “deeply concerned about the one of the key principles that underpins a
competitions. message this sends to civil servants and politically impartial civil service, for
Previously, staff hired in this manner the public”, warning it could potentially potentially large groups of staff being
could only serve for a maximum of two brought in to work on Brexit.
years, with salaries capped at £87,000. He added: "In the wake of calls from
However, the new rules allow such staff to some ex-ministers to recruit 'cheerleader'
stay in their jobs for up to three years on civil servants to deliver Brexit, and
salaries as high as £142,500, without “There has rarely following the departure of Sir Ivan Rogers
requiring specific approval from the been a time when as the UK's Ambassador to the EU,
Commission. the need to speak suspending the requirement for open and
While recognising the need for truth unto power fair selection to a larger group of staff – at
investment in both the capacity and has been needed a more senior level and for longer – is a
capability of the civil service to deliver more.” Dave Penman worrying development.”

12 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
News

FDA in the media
Civil service pay: unions seek
“negotiated multi-year settlement”
amid Brexit row
CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
Senior civil servants demand pay
rise due to Brexit workload 'pushing
Whitehall to its limits'
INDEPENDENT
‘Demoralised’ senior civil servants
demand pay increase
FINANCIAL TIMES
Senior civil servants demand pay rise
to cope with increased workload due to
Brexit
THE SUN
Senior civil servants demand a pay rise
to cover the extra work they need to do
to deliver Brexit
DAILY MAIL
Whitehall's top mandarins are
Ebbark House in Borough High demanding a pay-rise because of Brexit
Street today (above) and its CITY A.M.
position marked on an OS map Assistant General Secretary Naomi
from 1872 (right). Cooke was interviewed by BBC Radio 5
Live on the same issue, saying the SCS
Ebbark House have seen a real terms decline in their
pay of roughly 25-30%

Building work begins on December 2016

new FDA head office FDA General Secretary Dave Penman
interviewed by Guardian and BBC
Radio 4 over ministers ‘lacking political
Construction work is set to begin this “The difficulty and cost of finding a courage’ to admit the complexity of
month on the FDA’s new head office near venue around central London is Brexit
London Bridge – with the contractors astonishing,” Penman added. “That’s put Theresa May 'lacks courage to admit
creating offices and a flexible conference financial and practical constraints around complexity of Brexit'
space, whilst protecting the 170-year-old our ability to organise events and offer GUARDIAN
building’s original features. training. With our own venue, we’ll be Brexit: Civil service faces 'bumpy ride'
The events space at Ebbark House on able to react much more quickly and meet says union leader
Borough High Street will be capable of the demand for learning from our BBC NEWS
seating 80 people in a theatre members.” FDA responds in the Guardian and Civil
configuration, or of being divided with Penman is keen to protect the Service World to “civil service bashing”
moveable walls into a set of small rooms. building’s character and historic features. in the Prime Minister’s Spectator
“It will give us the ability to organise “We’re trying to be as sympathetic to the interview
events more quickly and to cut their cost,” building’s history as we can, within the
Whitehall union attacks May for civil
so the union can run more courses, said bounds of reasonable cost,” he
service bashing
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman. commented. “That creates a more GUARDIAN
“We’ll be able to expand the events and interesting space.”
Theresa May questions quality of civil
training we offer our members. And we’ll In the longer term, the new building is
service advice
be able to let out the space for catered expected to reduce the FDA’s costs, CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
events at commercial rates, in a new putting the union on a more sustainable
venue 100 yards from London Bridge footing (see interview on p20). ARC President Vicky Johnson appeared
station: that’s never going to be our prime Construction work is expected to last for on ITV News at Ten, discussing the
focus, but it should help pay for an six to eight months, with FDA and MiP need for increased HMRC resourcing
expansion of the learning opportunities staff moving into the property before the and the department’s ability to collect
we can offer our members.” end of the year. income tax from the highest earners.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 13
Opinion
Got an opinion? Let’s hear it at psm@fda.org.uk

Better data for a better Brexit
Gavin Freeguard Percentage change in Resource DEL budgets by department, 2011-12 to 2015-16
says government 60%
BUDGET DECREASE
must make better CO 2011/12 TO 2015/16
40%
use of its data if DECC DfID
it’s to tackle the 20%
NHS DfE
challenge of 0%
Brexit.
-20%
BUDGET INCREASE MoD CxD HO FCO DWP Defra
2011/12 TO 2015/16 MoJ DCMS
-40%
BIS
How is Whitehall performing? What -60%
does it look like as it faces Brexit? And DCLG DfT

how transparent is it being? These were -80%

three of the questions the Institute for Source: Institute for Government analysis of HMT Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2016.. Figures exclude depreciation.

Government asked – and using the
government’s own open data, answered Civil service staff numbers (full time equivalent) 1902 to 2016
– in our recent Whitehall Monitor 2017 (governments and World Wars highlighted)
report. 1.2m

1.0m
How is Whitehall performing?
Civil service staff numbers have 0.8m
fallen by around 19% since the 2010
WORLD WAR 1

WORLD WAR 2

spending review to around 385,000 in 0.6m
September 2016 – the smallest number
since the Second World War. Some 0.4m
departments – the Department for
Work and Pensions (DWP), Department 0.2m

for the Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Defra), and Department for
0.0m
1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Communities and Local Government
(DCLG) – saw staff cuts of more than a Source: IfG analysis of CO, Civil Service stats 1902-1990; ONS PSE, 1991-8 annual, 1999-2016 quarterly.
Excl Central Govt Security from 1999.
third. All but five departments had their
day-to-day spending budgets cut, some hit Department of Health). Scores on for civil servants to know what their
(DCLG again, and the Department for ‘leadership and managing change’ and ministers wanted them to focus on.
Transport) by more than half. on how people feel about their manager
Despite cuts to staff and money, are as high as they’ve ever been. What does Whitehall look like
Whitehall departments are still However, Whitehall is still trying as it faces Brexit?
functioning. Ministers continue to to do too much. Single Departmental If Whitehall already had too much to do
receive policy advice. Legislation Plans were first trailed in summer 2015 before the EU referendum, it has much
continues to be passed. Indeed, as ways to outline ministers’ priorities more to do now.
staff morale – a key indicator of and clarify “the trade-offs and choices” Theresa May’s decision to set up two
organisational health – has actually required by the civil service to achieve new departments to deal with Brexit –
risen over the last year. According to the them. But when published in February the Department for Exiting the European
Civil Service People Survey, engagement 2016, they were little more than a rehash Union (DExEU) and the Department for
rose in nearly every department between of manifesto commitments – seven International Trade (DIT) – as well as
2015 and 2016 (the glaring exception Secretaries of State had more than sixty creating the Department for Business,
was the record fall in the redundancy- ‘priorities’ each, making it difficult Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS),

14 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Opinion

Expanding our
inevitably distracted departmental
leaders from the business of government
as the new organisations were set up.

learning services
DExEU, at least, is finding its feet, its
engagement scores comparing well with
the rest of the civil service.
Of course, Brexit also means challenges
for many existing departments. Defra
estimates that 80% of its work is framed Neil Rider explains Political change brings with it a demand
by EU legislation. But the department has how the union for new skills. We recently had a very suc-
seen some of the biggest staff reductions plans to expand cessful conference with Dods and KPMG on
since 2010 – numbers have fallen by further the range ‘Unlocking EU Skills’, which discussed the
a third – as well as day-to-day budget of learning and impact of Brexit on our members. We are
reductions of more than a fifth since development committed to developing further confer-
2011-12. The Home Office, too, will face services on offer to ences and events looking at the strategic
building a new immigration system with FDA and Keystone members. and policy demands facing our members.
similar budget reductions, and with 10% This includes ‘Women Into Leadership
fewer staff than in 2010. Health’, using an established FDA brand to
In my last article I talked about developing develop a conference for MiP members, as
How open is Whitehall? FDA Learn/Keyskills services as part of the well as a putative event looking at the chal-
We’re lucky that successive UK union’s commitment to supporting mem- lenges in Scotland – possibly working with
governments have opened up lots of bers in their professional development and other unions who share a similar footprint.
data, and to have such dedicated public achieving their career aims. This work falls From the ‘what’ we turn to the ‘where’.
servants working on data and openness under three broad categories: professional Recognising the UK-wide base of our
within departments. But for all that masterclasses, career development train- membership, we have increasingly been
vitality, it’s not clear what direction ing and conferences. looking to deliver services outside London.
the current government wants to set. I am very glad that we are now expand- This has perhaps been most apparent in
There are also some warning signs: ing what we do in terms of content, Scotland where we have delivered three
under Theresa May, the Home Office engagement and location. This is vital to projects with Scottish Union Learning for
had the worst record of all departments ensure that we deliver services which the newly emerging FDA Scotland Strat-
in replying to freedom of information address the needs of all of our mem- egy group. The Strategy Group brings
requests on time. bers, while expanding our partnership together major membership concentra-
Publication of some key datasets has base with employers and providers. We tions in Scotland to ‘join up’ FDA activity,
also been patchy. Take departments’ are doing this mindful of the current re- including learning and development. Our
organograms, which hold information write of the Civil Service Competency Education Scotland section was instru-
crucial to workforce management and Framework and the expanding number of mental in this initiative and we have
planning, such as departmental units, ‘bespoke’ versions of the framework across engaged members in the Scottish Gov-
grade balance and pay: in March 2011, the public sector. We are also address- ernment and COPFS, while developing
every department published these; for ing the scope of political change which partnerships with the Home Office and
March 2016, eight departments did not. our members in policy and other areas are HMRC to deliver events.
What does this matter? One conclusion charged with helping to deliver for govern- Elsewhere, we have planned and deliv-
from this patchy publication record ment. ered events in Cardiff to follow up the
and the variable quality of the data is We know that the career development ‘Women Into Leadership Cardiff’ event. In
that departments themselves are not courses we offer (e.g. ‘Competency Writ- Northern Ireland, we are running our new
making enough use of their own data. ing’, ‘Interview Skills’, ‘Making Data Make ‘Competency Based Interview Skills’ course
If they were, the data would be better Sense’, ‘Law for Non-Lawyers’) are the which, while based on the Scottish ‘Skills
and more easily accessible. If this is the most popular, with leadership and per- for Success’ framework, also went down
case, government is not using data – on sonal skills courses (e.g. ‘Stand and Deliver’, very well in the Department of Health in
everything from its size and shape to ‘Introvert in an Extrovert Environment’) Leeds.
its performance – that could help it to a close second. To expand our work on We very much want to know the views
deliver better outcomes for departments career development, our new ‘Competency of members and employers about our
and citizens. Based Interview Skills’ course from Newz- learning and development services, and
If Whitehall is to rise to the challenges park joins a number of other new courses any suggestions for potential courses, con-
of reduced staff, reduced budgets and including ‘How to Have a More Produc- ferences and events, as well as potential
Brexit, government needs to use its own tive Working Day’ and ‘Coding for the Web’. providers or partners, are always very wel-
data intelligently. We are constantly seeking to ensure our come. Contact fdalearn@fda.org.uk
services meet the needs of members and
Gavin Freeguard is head of data and tie in with employer priorities wherever Neil Rider is the Head of FDA Learn
transparency at the Institute for possible, and the number of employers and Keyskills, the union’s professional
Government. commissioning our courses attests to that. development programmes.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 15
Opinion
Interview

THINK LIKE
A SERVICE
USER, ACT
LIKE A
TAXPAYER

Kay Hender talks to Chair, it was a bedroom. If walls could their finances and the taxes they pay.
talk… Hillier explains that while the Flint
Meg Hillier, Chair of the The office is dated by the sign above amendment was included in the Finance
Commons Public Accounts the door, announcing the domain of Act, implementation is being held back
the ‘Chairman of the Public Accounts because “the Government is saying it
Committee, about Committee’. Hillier is the second female doesn’t want to go it alone. So, we’re
grandstanding, Brexit… Chair of the PAC, which is charged with asking ‘how many countries do you need
holding ministers and civil servants to to work with before you go for this?’”
and circus school.

M
account for the efficient delivery of public The PAC has been asking HMRC to
services. She has been filling the rather be more transparent over the details of
eg Hillier’s big shoes of fellow Labour MP Margaret corporation tax settlements for years,
office is steeped Hodge since June 2015. creating problems for officials bound by
in history. She Hillier clearly relishes the scope of her the department’s confidentiality rules.
tells me that, role: “You see in your hand the guts of PAC’s questioning of senior HMRC staff
when he was Whitehall spread before you – the good, about this issue has been criticised by
Chair of the the bad and the ugly – and we’ve seen both the FDA and its members in the
Public Accounts all of that in just the last year and a half past, with the Committee famously
Committee (PAC) from 1959 to 1963, future alone,” she says. compelling an HMRC lawyer to swear on
Prime Minister Harold Wilson worked the Bible before answering questions on
at the grand round table we’re sitting at, Corporate tax and HMRC corporation tax in 2011.
“possibly where you are now, shaping Hillier says she’s most proud of “the Hillier is clear that “the rules need to
future Labour Government policies”. In work we’ve been doing on tax”. She be changed” to allow civil servants to
Photographs: Stefano Cagnoni

the days before Portcullis House, two or highlights what’s been dubbed ‘the Flint be more open. She says: “I don’t blame
three MPs often shared the same room, so amendment’ – named after PAC member current officials for sticking to the rules
Hillier says Wilson “became Chair of PAC Caroline Flint – which allows ministers they’ve got, that’s their job… We’ve been
in order to have this office”. She reveals to require multinationals operating very clear on some of the work HMRC has
that before it was designated to the PAC in the UK to publish information on been doing on enforcement, they get a

16 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Interview

very good return rate on some of this. We FROM PPE TO 2005-2006: Member
push for more because we’re impatient of the Northern Ireland
to see more money coming into the
PAC: HILLIER’S
Affairs Committee
Exchequer. We’ve been pushing for more BIOGRAPHY
2007-2010:
civil servants in parts of HMRC, such 1990: Graduated Parliamentary Under-
as compliance, because we recognise from St Hilda’s College, Secretary at the Home
that. The problem is they have to abide
Oxford, having studied Office, covering identity
by confidentiality which gives the
philosophy, politics and 2010: Shadow Minister
companies succour to hide behind it too.”
economics
I ask if she thinks the Government for the Home Office
and its civil servants should be held to 1990: Worked for the 2010-2011: Served
account by select committees in the same South Yorkshire Times, as Shadow Secretary
way. As the saying goes: civil servants then Housing Today of State for Energy and
advise, ministers decide. 1994: Elected as a Climate Change
“Ministers need to take responsibility Councillor in Islington 2011: Became a Member
Waltham Forest as a
overall,” she says, “but if you’re running 1998-1999: Served as founding Member of the of the Public Accounts
a very large multi-billion project, a
the youngest ever Mayor London Assembly Committee
minister is not going to be over the detail
of Islington 2005: Elected as Labour 2015: Elected as Public
of that; it’s just not possible with the
number of things in a minister’s portfolio. 2000: Represented MP for Hackney South and Accounts Committee
We have Accounting Officers for a reason, Hackney, Islington and Shoreditch Chair
they’re responsible for the money and
guarding taxpayers’ money wisely… Our
job is not to question policy but look at
the efficiency, effectiveness and value Be straight, be is dominating, the political eye is being
for money of Government spending… taken off other balls, but it’s still a big
Sometimes you’ll get a civil servant
honest, don’t be unknown.
saying ‘The Secretary of State said…’, so defensive. When “It’ll be interesting to do a headcount
we’ll know that strays into policy and say, things have gone now and a headcount when we’re some
‘OK, we get it’.” wrong, admit it. way down the Brexit line, to see how
many [more] civil servants there are as a
‘Grandstanding’ result of coming out of Europe. You could
When I ask Hillier about the frequent add it up quite quickly, but it’s too early
allegations of committee ‘grandstanding” person for that project, so we do try to yet.”
thrown at her predecessor, she responds welcome them… There are times when On the subject of her own
that “people who say that are usually witnesses try to grandstand and see it as organisational skills, Hillier says: “I’d
on the receiving end of questions, I an opportunity to get headlines the next be in logistics if I wasn’t doing this. I’m a
would hazard… Styles of questioning day – we don’t like being spun so it works busy Mum, I have lots of lists and I have
are a different thing to grandstanding. both ways.” [my assistant] Emily. I have fantastic
Grandstanding is someone proclaiming Hillier’s advice to a civil servant teams at the NAO and my own office.
from the position of Chair on something facing PAC is “be straight, be honest, I’ve got three children but I’m not a
without basis and using it as a political don’t be defensive… When things have mollycoddling mother. My eldest, who’s
platform.” gone wrong, admit it.” She adds: “My a teenager, says he really likes the fact
I remind Hillier of the first question mantra is we need to think like a user that I just trust him to get on with things.
the committe asked of civil service Chief and act like a taxpayer, and so do civil It’s the same as the civil servants in front
Executive John Manzoni, during Margaret servants. We give credit to people who’ve of us, working parents juggling children,
Hodge’s time as Chair, not long after he acknowledged problems and tell us when they work long hours too.”
had been appointed: “What is the point something went wrong, because then we Away from work, Hillier says she’s
of you?” can move on and ask ‘What next?’ We “quite good at compartmentalising.
“I don’t think it’s grandstanding, it’s won’t parade it.” When I’m with my children that’s it
asking questions that people want to – I make sure I carve out time to do
know,” Hillier quickly replies. “I can’t Brexit something different. For a while I went
remember the John Manzoni one, but Hillier believes the civil service faces a to circus school with my daughter – I
there were lots of discussions about who huge challenge in meeting the demands represent the National Centre for Circus
was running the civil service – there were of Brexit, given the likely pace of Arts in Hoxton. She and I can do a bit of
two heads and then it was one… I don’t negotiations and policy changes. “We’ve acrobatics. But I’m better at juggling work
imagine John Manzoni was thrown by got two years to get a lot of this done. and life than juggling balls.”
that question. [You wouldn’t say] that to [The PAC is] worried there isn’t enough
a junior person… they’ve maybe stepped thinking about how this is going to Kay Hender is Editor of Public Service
up to the plate because they’re the right translate in a post-Brexit world. Brexit Magazine.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 17
Opinion
Performance management

Fair, flexible and
forward-looking
As four major departments prepare to scrap their “guided
distribution” appraisal schemes, Kay Hender asks what’s next
for performance management in the civil service?

Significantly, a number of employers
– including big hitters like HMRC, the
Department for Work and Pensions, the
Ministry of Defence and the Home Office
– have moved quickly to end the “forced”
or “guided” distribution of performance
markings, with effect from the 2017-18
performance year.

More flexibility for
departments
Andrew Kean, Deputy Director
supporting performance management at
Civil Service Employment Policy (CSEP),
confirms that the new system will allow
“more flexibility for departments to tailor
their arrangements in a way that works
best for them within their own culture
and business needs”.
Kean says that CSEP’s role is to
“support departments one-on-one but
also working with them collectively –
a sharing of best practice”. The new

W
performance management framework is
hen civil service intended to enable a “a much stronger
Chief Executive emphasis on regular, good quality,
John Manzoni engaging conversations”, he says. “That’s
publicly stated at one of the things that all departments
Civil Service Live have said they want to achieve.”
2016 in London But could this lead to an increased
that he was “not a fan” of the current burden on managers? “If you’re a
performance management system, many manager, part of your role is to have good-
civil servants were hoping it would be the quality, regular, ongoing conversations,”
beginning of the end for the oft-criticised replies Kean. “The feedback is that
process. Their wishes were granted at not enough staff feel this is their
the end of last year, when a new civil experience… Deloittes moved to an
service-wide performance management ongoing conversation model and found
framework – to be introduced for grades that, while managers did increase the
below the SCS from April 2017 – was amount of time spent on performance
announced. management, it was much more evenly
The new framework will replace the spread and managers felt that was a
common performance management much better investment of their time.”
system introduced in 2012 under then- Kean thinks “the next six to twelve
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. months will be really interesting, as

18 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Performance management
Opinion

departments… small and large, can learn are being treated the same as those
from each other and make it work in their People without.”
own contexts”. generally feel On the potential for the new system
that this system is to generate extra work for managers,
Valuation Office Agency trial Alexander says that “some managers
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is
fair, even those who with big spans and remote staff” can
already trying out a new performance need support or are find the new system challenging. “My
management system. Its unique twelve- underperforming. view is that managing people is their job
month trial, which began in July 2016, and it needs to be done well, but what
has removed guided distribution, box we have taken away is the mid-year and
markings, mid-year moderation meetings an underperformer, it’s because I’m an end-of-year moderation and validation
and end-of-year validation meetings, underperformer, not to meet a quota.’” meetings, as well as the end-of-year
focusing instead on the achievement of She admits that “the civil service, write-ups, which were extremely time-
objectives throughout the year. in common with many other consuming.”
VOA Chief People Officer Janet organisations, finds that when it looks Alexander says one of the reasons for
Alexander explains: “Our managers and at performance data, people with adopting this method of performance
the people they manage have monthly protected characteristics are often under- management is to build management
performance achievement conversations, represented as high achievers and over capability. “Essentially, you build that
but the style of those conversations is represented as under-performers. So by allowing managers to manage and
quite different. We ask people to come we’re looking to see whether the change giving them some tools to manage
into the room having reflected on their in system allows us to demonstrate that with,” she says. “We wanted a culture
performance over the last month, and people with protected characteristics that was more about coaching and
discuss what’s been achieved and performance achievement than
perhaps what hasn’t gone quite so retrospective performance evaluation”.
well. Where something hasn’t gone The trial’s progress has raised interest
well, the individual and their manager FDA welcomes end to across the civil service, notably from
discuss what the manager can do to “guided distribution” civil service Chief People Officer Rupert
help that person to improve, whether McNeil. Alexander feels the trial system
that is additional training, a shadowing Guided distribution in performance could work in larger organisations, but
opportunity, or some other sort of management is “unfair, demoralising adds: “You would need to think very
intervention.” and demotivating”, says FDA carefully about the size of the cadre
In addition to these monthly meetings Assistant General Secretary Rob that each senior leadership group looks
between managers and their direct O’Neill, who has led the union’s at. Around 150 to 200 people is the
reports, senior leaders from each area campaign on the issue. “Diversity maximum size, anything bigger than
meet up once a quarter to ensure they are data has consistently demonstrated that and the numbers get too big. Then
confident “that managers are identifying a disproportionately adverse impact you really are not able to have a properly
people who are doing particularly well, on some groups of staff – for example, informed conversation about people.”
and those who are struggling, and taking BME and those with disabilities – One of the measures of success for
action to support both,” she adds. and contributed to poor engagement the trial is “managers’ ability to identify
Alexander says that feedback from staff scores recorded in staff surveys”. people who are under performing
has been positive so far because there He adds that the union has “opposed or who need support, or who have
are fewer surprises. “People are saying, guided distribution since its high or emerging potential, and their
‘I don’t have to save up lots of evidence introduction in 2012 and has taken ability to support people differently
to prove what I’ve achieved at the end of every opportunity to make a case for because of that identification,” says
the year.’ The monthly conversations are its removal… including a campaign Alexander. “We still need to address
relatively short – only about 30 minutes of industrial action taken by our underperformance, whether that’s
or an hour – and because you’re talking members in HMRC”. short-term, where people need support,
about what happened last month people O’Neill welcomes the removal of
or where people are consistently not
can recall it, rather than dredging back guided distribution in four of the
performing; this system still has to
over it.” largest civil service employers and
demonstrate that we do that”.
Importantly, Alexander reports that says that the FDA is looking for
But, overall, Alexander feels that
“people generally feel that this system others to move in the same direction:
the VOA trial system “has the potential
is fair, even people who need support “The union is keen to sit down with
to be transformational in terms of
and are underperforming, because the departments and with people at the
the relationship between managers
perception was – whether it’s true or centre to explore the new flexibility
and the people who work for them,
not – that guided distribution meant and to help to deliver a performance
because you change the dynamic of
that when you were told you were a poor management system that is robust,
the conversations. And you improve
performer, it was to meet a distribution fair and works for both employers and
engagement as managers and staff are
rather than because of your performance. staff”.
involved in the process more than they
People now think, ‘If I’m being told I’m were before.”

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 19
Dave Penman

Playing the
long game
Following his re-election at the end of last year, FDA General
Secretary Dave Penman talks to Matt Ross about Brexit,
civil service cuts and the future of the union.

B
rexit is an
enormous
challenge, and
critical to the
country – but
it’s being done
on a shoestring:
a make-do-and-
mend approach, with very few extra
resources,” says FDA general Dave
Penman. “This is madness.”
Many departments have seen
administration budgets shrink by a fifth
since 2010, he adds, and they’re being
asked to find another 20% by 2020. Yet
Brexit will demand “a lot of resource and
expertise to support our exit process and
to cope with all the policy requirements,
and if we don’t invest in that work, the
chances are it will backfire quite quickly.”
As workloads spiral, budgets decline and
public sector salaries lose value, Penman
fears, something’s got to give.
So Brexit presents a major threat to
both the working lives of FDA members, “The Treasury thinks pay restraint has has become more flexible during this
and their ability to deliver for the public. been a success: they can see no cost to it, Parliament, and the FDA is negotiating
But it also attracts intense media interest because people aren’t leaving in droves,” with 60 civil service organisations
– and that, says Penman, has provided he says. But he warns that, as inflation on ways to improve members’ pay,
“an opportunity to get out there into and private sector salaries inch up, those employer by employer. The FDA’s
the public space” and make the case for chickens will come home to roost, “and members are, he adds, “intelligent
wider investment in the civil service. by the time you’ve reached the point people who understand the limitations.
Since Brexit, Penman has been where you’re driving people out of the They know we can’t wave a magic wand.
doing a lot of press and TV work – organisation, it’s going to take you a And we’re honest about the things we
hammering home the message that decade to turn that around.” can influence, and those that are more
Photographs: Niklas Halle’n

endlessly squeezing civil service pay Penman is playing a long game difficult.”
will ultimately produce an exodus of the here: as he acknowledges, “the The FDA is willing to use hard levers,
most skilled and valuable staff, badly macroeconomic policy of the public says Penman, but only in pursuit of
undermining the government’s ability to sector pay cap is a very difficult thing to realistic goals. “We’re unafraid to
deliver on its priorities. unlock”. But the Treasury’s approach challenge employers and government,

20 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Dave Penman

but also unafraid to reach agreement.” explains, “was a reflection of the way challenges to many civil service bodies:
Over pensions, for example, the the FDA had already changed” by “I couldn’t be prouder of the team
union took industrial action as a opening up membership to all grades we’ve got, and they work tremendously
“demonstration of the strength of our in the security services, the Diplomatic hard on behalf of members,” says
members’ feelings, in order to influence Service and the Fast Stream. And Penman. “But when everyone’s working
the negotiation process”. Then it engaged changes within the civil service have long hours just to deliver day-to-day
with government negotiators, securing started to blur the traditional Grade 7 services, it’s a challenge to get people
a deal that produced “the flattest boundary: “In some departments, SEOs thinking about recruitment.” He urges
contribution rates in the public sector”. are managing hundreds of staff and FDA members to take on roles as local
Senior NHS managers make pension doing jobs that grade 7s or even 6s did a representatives, helping to spread the
contributions of 14-15%, he points out; decade ago,” he says. word about the union’s work and bolster
senior civil servants pay 6-7%. The next task for Keystone, says services at local level: “It’s tough for
But it’s no longer enough, Penman Penman, is to “develop a strong FDA members because lots of them
argues, for unions to perform well in professional voice for its members” – a have really busy day jobs,” he adds,
traditional representation and advocacy group whose interests may often diverge “but we’ve got a really good offer, and
work: members also expect help with from those of traditional FDA members. we need local representatives to help us
developing their skills, their careers “It’s got to evolve to genuinely reflect the raise our visibility in the workplace.”
and their professional networks. values and interests of its members,” he Penman’s focus on local volunteers
“Increasingly, we’re helping members explains. “Getting that right is what will reflects his own path through the union
to make a success of their careers,” he attract more people to join it.” movement, which began when he
says. “Our learning offer has grown became a local union representative in a
exponentially over the last five years. social security office. “That work really
There’s such a thirst for it – partly shows you what people value about
because employers’ learning offers unions, and the reasons why people join
have reduced, but also because we offer them,” he says. And it’s that acquired
something different. It’s not technical knowledge that, permeating up through
training, it’s about thinking about your the organisation, keeps its leaders
career, about supporting people through focused on its members’ needs.
selection or promotion processes.” Some Having moved through roles as an
3-4,000 members now undertake FDA organiser, negotiator and manager to
training courses each year, and the union lead the FDA, Penman is determined
is expanding its offer – notably through to retain and strengthen those links
its Women in Leadership conference between the local and the national.
series, and a new set of courses focusing Only that crucial connection with the
on the skills required for Brexit. FDA members are frontline, he believes, can ensure that
It’s partly in order to improve its intelligent the General Secretary understands how
learning services that the FDA is buying people. They know to develop and strengthen the union and
a permanent headquarters in Borough, protect its ability to defend its members’
near London Bridge station (see page 13). we can’t wave a magic interests in a very difficult period for
“Part of my job is to secure the future of wand. We’re honest the labour movement. “It’s easy to get
the union,” says Penman. “We’ve never about what we can into an ivory tower,” he comments.
owned anything in our 100-year history, influence and what’s “There are lots of challenges in running
and about 8% of our income goes on more difficult. the organisation, and in dealing with
rent.” The union will attempt to “pay ministers or permanent secretaries, and
off the mortgage as soon as possible – you’ve got to force yourself to go back
and that will take a significant cost out”. And this is the key challenge, because down and ensure that you’re in touch
Meanwhile, the union will gain its own Keystone, like the FDA, is fishing for with what’s going on throughout the
conference and training space in central members in an ever-shrinking civil organisation.
London, along with catering facilities service pool. As the FDA expands “That’s one of the advantages of having
and the opportunity to generate income its range of services, and austerity 18,000 members rather than 800,000:
from hosting events. drives more demand for collective and everyone’s got my email address, and
Penman has also been investing in individual representation, the union they can contact me with complaints or
the FDA’s communications operation – is recruiting faster than ever. But at challenges or ideas,” Penman adds. And
boosting the press team and developing the same time civil service cuts are he gives his email address: a handle as
a new website to strengthen its voice pushing large numbers of members out down to earth as the General Secretary
in the public debate. And then there’s of employment: “We’re running up the himself. “The email’s dave@fda.org.uk,”
Keystone: the FDA offshoot serving civil down escalator,” says Penman with a he says. “Write to me!”
servants in SEO, HEO and equivalent bitter smile.
grades. Losing members squeezes the FDA’s Matt Ross is an editor, journalist and
The launch of the new union, Penman income, leaving the union facing similar change manager.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 21
Wendy Jones Awards
Opinion

Tommy Newell talks to previous winners of the leadership skills as an NHS manager and
exceptional role model.
Wendy Jones Award, which recognises FDA members Zoeta has been working in the NHS
who have made an outstanding contribution to for over 30 years, and is currently a
commissioning manager in one of
promoting equality in public life. Birmingham’s Clinical Commissioning
Groups. Zoeta has also distinguished

Promoting equality
herself in the trade union movement,
making a huge contribution to recruiting
members for Managers in Partnership

and diversity
(MiP). In 2013, Zoeta became Chair of
MiP and, over the following three years,
represented the union to government
and strategic bodies.

through the Wendy Recipients of the Wendy Jones
Award have to be outstanding in their
dedication to equality, and Zoeta

Jones Award
is no exception. She has mounted
effective challenges to institutional
discrimination and supported her NHS
colleagues experiencing problems
with race discrimination. Zoeta joined
Surinder Sharma, the first NHS equality
tsar, in championing race equality as
members of the Governing Council of the
Health and Social Care BME Network.
Three years ago, the network awarded
her its highest accolade, the EMBRACE
Award for ‘Person of the Year’.
Accepting the Wendy Jones Award,
Zoeta said: “I’m truly honoured to be
recognised for my efforts in raising
awareness of the issues faced by
black and minority ethnic managers.
Unfortunately, policies intended to
ensure that talented BME managers
are promoted remain inconsistent,
uncoordinated and lacking in real drive.
A key factor is the lack of sufficient BME
representation at senior management
level, which is a powerful barometer of
how well an organisation’s talk matches

E
reality. For me, this is simply not good
enough and I’ll continue to keep raising
ach year at the this issue.
Annual Delegate The lack of “However, looking at the senior
Conference (ADC), the sufficient BME management levels within our unions,
FDA celebrates the representation at we need to also put our own house in
work of its members order and lead by example. We have
in promoting senior management made some good progress in improving
equality through the level is a barometer the number of women in management,
Wendy Jones Award. of how well an but are still struggling with
Wendy (pictured opposite) was a long- organisation’s talk representation from BME managers.
serving member of the FDA staff, who “So I want you to think about how
sadly passed away in November 2012.
matches reality.” you can truly improve the diversity at
During her time at the union, she was an senior management level and create the
outstanding lead officer on equality. opportunities to allow this to happen.”
Last year’s winner, Zoeta Manning,
received the award in recognition of her Tommy Newell is FDA staff writer.

22 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
2017
Wendy JonesOpinion
Awards

2015 2014
David Chrimes Hakim Din Craig Stephenson
Chair of the FDA Equality and Former National Specialist for Director of Commission Services,
Diversity Committee Race Equality and International National Assembly for Wales
Education, Education Scotland
“I had the pleasure, honour and “It was a surprise and a delight to
privilege to meet Wendy Jones at my “In 2014, I received the Wendy Jones receive the Wendy Jones Equality
first ever ADC. She had the uncanny Award. It was a great surprise to me Award a couple of years ago – made
knack of both inspiring and making that my friends and colleagues had all the more special because my
you feel at ease. nominated me for the award, as I’m colleagues had nominated me.
“It was well known that Wendy was not the sort of person that looks for an “The award sits just behind my desk
absolutely committed to securing award for doing the right thing. alongside awards from Stonewall
equality, diversity and inclusion for “Receiving the award was a great Cymru for the National Assembly
our members. Therefore, nothing honour and recognition for the for Wales's achievements on LGBT
could be more fitting and appropriate contribution that I and others in inclusion. Creating an inclusive and
than to name the FDA's flagship Scotland had made to the fight against diverse parliamentary organisation
award, for those members committed racism, injustice and inequality. The is really important to me and to
to securing equality through their award has not changed my behaviour my colleagues, so receiving this
actions, in her honour. in any way and nor should it. I have it in recognition from the FDA was
“In my career – both within and my study and every time I look at it, it certainly one of the highlights of the
outside the FDA – nothing has given reminds me that the struggle continues.” year.
me more satisfaction than receiving “Though I didn't know Wendy Jones,
the Wendy Jones Award in 2015. The I'm pleased that my trade union has
fact that you are acknowledged by recognised the contribution she made
your peers adds that extra value and to equality by annually celebrating
recognition.
I have the what FDA members from across the
“I am now delighted to be involved
award in my UK bring to this important agenda.”
in the judging for the Wendy Jones study and every
Award, and I look forward to hearing time I look at it, it
about the considerable achievements reminds me that
of FDA colleagues, which are always the struggle
both humbling, and inspiring.”
continues.”

The FDA is seeking nominations for the 2017 Wendy Jones Award
and wants to hear about any initiatives and activities in the

2017 equalities arena that deserve to be celebrated.
Please email your nomination to Equalitymatters@FDA.org.uk.
nominations Nominations should be no more than 500 words, and explain why
you think she or he should be the award winner. All entries must
be received by the closing date of 5 April 2017.

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 23
Reviews
Reviews of the latest books and technology

Books
A Woman’s Work

By Harriet Harman
Allen Lane, 405pp, £20

Although Harriet Harman
never held a front-rank
cabinet job, she is probably
one of the most influential
politicians of recent
decades. “I knew exactly
what I was coming into
Parliament to do,” she writes of her
arrival at Westminster following the 1982
Peckham by-election. “I was there for
women… we wanted equality, in work
and in politics. We wanted childcare,
maternity rights, for domestic violence
to be taken seriously and for women to Tony Blair a few months later, she comes
play an equal part in political decision Harman has stuck to her close to blaming herself.
making.” Harman has stuck to her agenda for 35 years, But while Harman has a great story
agenda for 35 years, with a measure of with a measure of success that to tell, this book falls between three
success that puts most male politicians puts most male politicians in stools. Having dismissed memoirs as
in the shade. the shade. “male vanity projects”, she is reluctant
In 1982, Harman joined just 20 other to write one, so we just don’t get enough
women in the Commons. Now there are Harriet for a satisfactory autobiography.
almost 200 – not equal representation, to get women Labour candidates into As a chronicler of the Blair-Brown years,
but what Harman calls “a critical mass”. safe or winnable seats and nothing had Harman is too reticent and still seems
When she became the first sitting MP worked.” as reluctant as ever to rock the boat.
to have a baby, she faced outright Harman says her involvement with Through her ever-reasonable lens, the
hostility from male MPs, and was “too the women’s movement in the 1970s split between Blairites and Brownites
much on the defensive” to even ask for convinced her that real change for seems even more incomprehensible than
maternity leave. Now, pregnant MPs women could only come with a Labour it did at the time. You end up thinking,
are almost commonplace and ministers government. This is a lesson Jeremy what the hell they were rowing about?
of both sexes take parental leave. And Corbyn’s party will have to learn all And as a history of the women’s
it’s inconceivable today that a Prime over again, but also one that can stick movement, it just feels a bit bloodless.
Minister would even try to get away with committed campaigners like Harman There are lots of details about people
forming an all-male cabinet, as John with some very awkward choices. worked with, meetings attended and
Major did in 1992. As social security secretary in 1997, press releases issued, but real working
Harman lead the successful but highly Harman was forced to cut single women seem almost absent from what
controversial campaign for all-women mother’s benefits because Labour had might have been their story.
shortlists in the Labour party. This promised to stick to Tory spending plans. No doubt Harman sees her
was the real turning point for women She kicked up a fuss but eventually went unwillingness to dish the dirt or blow
in British politics, leading directly to along with the policy. “Our government her own trumpet as a positive thing, but
the election of over 100 women Labour still felt fragile to me. I couldn’t do A Woman’s Work is perhaps just a bit too
MPs in 1997. “We argued for it as a last anything to threaten it,” she writes. It’s modest for its own good.
resort,” she writes, “because we had, typical of Harman that when she was
over many years, tried everything else shabbily sacked from the cabinet by Reviewed by Craig Ryan

24 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Reviews

Nothing but a Circus: Misadventures among the Powerful

by Daniel Levin
Allen Lane, 208pp, £20

The cover of this book The nefarious effect of power is me, that is where people have no choice
depicts a man in a suit on the binding theme for these stories. but to understand how money works.”
a unicycle attempting to However, another theme which ‘Chess à la Russe’ discusses how
balance on a tightrope. emerges time and time again is the difficult it is to discern the true
It is an apt image for the impact that assumptions about and intentions of people playing the
balancing act between misunderstandings of cultural norms diplomatic long game, and ‘Very Foggy
hope and cynicism can have on dealings between nations. Bottom’ presents a critical view of
faced by those working with large For example, the chapter entitled the working methods of the US State
institutions, particularly in the political ‘Luanda Lessons’ illustrates how Department.
arena. It is this tension which lies at the Western economic “experts” routinely Understandably, the author focuses
heart of the book. underestimate levels of local on his more negative experiences; good
The author is a lawyer by profession, knowledge. “If you want to see true news rarely makes for a riveting read.
but has spent much of his career as capitalism in action, look at countries As a result, Levin enthrals and appals
a political and economic advisor like Angola, with abject poverty and a in equal measure and this is one of the
to various public and third sector huge wealth gap,” Levin writes. Believe most illuminating and entertaining
institutions in several countries. He has books I have read on this subject. It
structured the book as a sequence of should be required reading for anyone
chapters telling interlinked cautionary considering a career in diplomacy
tales based upon his experiences A theme which emerges and should provide some rueful
working in this field. Thanks to his again and again is the reassurance for those already engaged
fluency as a storyteller the pace never impact that misunderstandings in one.
slackens, and it is difficult to stop of cultural norms can have on
reading once one has begun. dealings between nations. Reviewed by Anne Grikitis

Off the shelf Other recent reads
Sherlock Holmes and Mr Barry’s War The Reluctant Leader
The Nine-Dragon Sigil Caroline Shenton Peter Shaw and
Tim Symonds Hillary Douglas
MX Publishing, 364pp, £11.99 Oxford University Press, 288pp, £25.00 Canterbury Press, 129pp, £12.99

Few authors could Mr Barry’s War continues Few of us can honestly
tackle such well known on from where its prequel, deny that reluctance
characters as Sherlock The Day Parliament to take the lead has
Holmes and Doctor Burned Down, left off. The led to missing out
Watson as well as Tim book tracks the efforts of on opportunities,
Symonds. Symonds’s style architect Charles Barry and both personally and
of writing sits perfectly the trials he went through professionally. Coaching
with that of the characters’ original during the rebuilding of the Houses of experts Shaw and Douglas use the
author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while Parliament after the Great Fire of 1834. wisdom they have extracted from
still allowing him to put his own mark Barry, who beat off stiff competition leaders across all sectors to help us push
on the story. With a mix of action, to build a new gothic-style Palace of against the limits of willingness to lead.
mystery and humour, the engaging plot Westminster, enlisted Augustus Pugin to The book’s easy to read structure and
takes readers on a new journey with design the interior decor of what became use of relatable case studies allows you
these famous detectives and Symonds one of the world’s most iconic buildings. to quickly access the advice you need to
goes to great lengths with descriptive The book highlights the many challenges push yourself forward and to take charge
detail that transports you back to Barry faced during the 25-year building of how you react in the future. What are
England and China in the early 20th project, including hostile MPs continually you waiting for?
century. This book’s progression from changing their minds, remarkable
the original series feels natural and engineering feats, swampy quicksand,
ensures it is a must-read for any true sewage issues and cholera, to name but
Sherlock Holmes fan. a few. Reviewed by Rory Desch

Public Service Magazine Spring 2017 25
Reviews

Kit Smart Tech
Amazon Echo Smart Speaker with Voice Recognition & Control Choice Tweeters
@WhichUK for its unbiased product
information, reviews and campaigning
Although only recently launched in the
for a fairer deal for consumers. By
UK, the Amazon Echo was originally
putting consumers’ needs first, Which
launched in the US in November 2014.
can help you to make better choices.
This could be a major benefit for UK
consumers, as it has allowed Amazon to @suttonnick BBC news website
iron out many of the Echo’s initial kinks. editor Nick Sutton offers an up-to-
What makes the Echo stand out is the the minute outlook on press reporting
Alexa Voice recognition service that of politics and regularly tweets the
can help turn any home ‘smart’. Users front pages of Britain's biggest daily
can ask questions, bark commands and newspapers.
control other smart devices, as well as @goodgym offers the chance to get
using it as a speaker. fit by running while doing something
Considering its size, the Amazon Echo good within communities. It combines
belts out some good quality sound, regular outdoor exercise with
using its woofer and tweeter to provide volunteering for community projects
good bass and treble notes. The speaker and visiting lonely older people at
itself offers 360 degree omni-directional home.
sound, and seven microphones with
noise cancelling technology are
App happy
positioned within its shell to ensure
users can be heard from anywhere WifiMapper
within the room. For those who are not lucky enough to
The device is fairly straightforward have a generous mobile data contract,
to set up. Realising that users might WifiMapper could help meet your
initially be shy of asking questions, needs. This app tracks the best WiFi
Amazon provides some helpful hints to spots for you, allowing users to help
start you off. To connect to your home build the maps as they share the best
network, simply download the Alexa places to get free WiFi. Users can also
companion app on to your phone and distinguish the type of usage, either
follow the instructions provided. Other initial feedback suggests that quality by WiFi type or place type.
connected Amazon devices like Fire TV varies and you may struggle at first to
Prisma
will also appear in the Alexa app. find the better ones among the many
This easy to use fun app will
Alexa can help keep you abreast of others.
transform your photographs into
many things, like updates on news, If you just want sound, there are better
miniature works of art. With a variety
sport, music, weather and traffic, as well speakers available at this price, but used
of art styles to choose from, ranging
as your calendar. The beauty of Alexa is in conjunction with its AI technology,
from comic book doodling to classic
that its intelligence intuitively grows the you will quickly find many other uses for
paintings, you’ll soon create your own
more you use it. Although the Amazon the Amazon Echo as it learns about your
masterpiece. Its high quality range
Echo comes with over 2,000 ‘skills’, interests.
of imagery ensures you’ll be sure to
generate some top class results.
Mondly
Price This new free language learning
£149.99
Tech lowdown: app offers more than previous apps
Colours: Black or white of this type – with a wider range
of languages and content. Mondly
Connections Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
helps you to speak, read and write
Compatible with: Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices the language of your choice. The app
and is also accessible via your web browser also sets you homework, categorises
Dimensions: 235 x 83.5 x 83.5 mm topics and offers a ‘chat bot’, which
Audio: 2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter allows you to continually chart your
progress. If you want to develop your
skills further, there are paid options
for accessing more content.

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Going Public
Malcolm Burgess tours the workplace

54. Hannah the
(3) When I think of my line manager,
I basically see

Happiness Consultant (a) David Brent
(b) Captain Ahab
(c) Goebbels
It's funtastic! Don't worry, Hannah has (d) A funsultant
got used to the sarcasm; in fact, it rather
goes with the job. But she would have us (4) I know my situation at work
know that achieving a more positive would be much improved if I could
workforce by having fun in the office is a (a) Work from home
serious business. Rome wasn't built in a (b) Be left undisturbed
day, and certainly not by just bringing in a (c) Be listened to
bouncy castle so someone can get a (d) Dress as my favourite animal or
strangulated hernia. a Ninja
Hannah likes to begin by reminding her
clients that existing ‘fun' initiatives are (5) According to a recent study by the
probably anything but. The office London School of Economics, the
Christmas party is a minefield of disasters time when we feel most miserable is
waiting to happen. The Secret Santa may (a) Going to work
only deliver a car ice scraper. Celebrating (b) Arriving at work
people's birthdays every week is boring (c) Having a meeting
and expensive. Leaving parties (d) Having to go home
encourage only temporary jollity (mainly
for the person leaving). (6) I believe that decades of research
In this time of smart, lean and on the link between employee
innovative workforces, it's hardly satisfaction and productivity show
surprising that start-ups and hi-tech that the results are
companies lead the way with office fun. (a) Inconclusive
Hannah waxes lyrical about swings, (b) Unhelpful
hammocks, pods and ping-pong tables – (c) Depressing
all de-rigeur along with the blonde wood The Happiness (d) Dependant on having a personal tree
and industrial fittings. She mentions, Questionnaire house in the office
discreetly, how such features make
employees happy to spend increasingly (1) At work I would definitely be (7) Whenever I think of Wednesdays
long hours in the office. All we ever really made happier by I think of
wanted to do, it seems, is sit on plastic (a) F ewer long e-mails (a) Cake
grass at eight o'clock in the evening and (b) No more bureaucratic forms (b) Team meetings
share Eureka! moments with our (c) No more pointless restructurings (c) The weekend
colleagues. It's just a question of (d) A slide (d) Using my scooter to shoot off for that
transferring this to a typical civil service water cooler moment
scenario. (2) I see myself never leaving my
Her first step is for departmental heads office due to Hannah just hopes that everyone
(sorry, happiness ambassadors) to put (a) M
y excessive work load concerned has a good sense of humour.
some key questions to their employees. (b) My 'presentist' colleagues After all, they're going to need it.
Illustration: David Simonds

They inevitably generate much hilarity (c) My depressing rented accommodation
but, as Hannah says, “smile and the (d) The chance of the office soon being
whole world is forced to, if they know modelled on a nightclub, with free bars, Malcolm Burgess is the author of Don’t
what's good for them and wish to pass chill-out zones and Formula One Mention It: The A-Z of Modern Bullsh*t
their annual review”. simulators (www.oxygenbooks.co.uk).

28 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017
Crossword
Win!
There will be a prize of a
Members by free FDA Learn/Keyskills
Schadenfreude course or workshop, worth
Eleven answers approximately £150, for the
clued without first correct entry drawn
definitions belong after the closing date. Find
to a 12-member set. out more about the courses
Solvers must highlight on offer at: www.fda.org.uk/
the unclued member professionaldevelopment/
which forms part of FDA_Woorkshops.aspx
one of the entries. or www.wearekeystone.
org.uk/keyskills-courses
Solution next issue.

Solution and winner
Individual Success by
Schadenfreude (Solution)

ACROSS DOWN
1 Scottish town having little vitality (7) 2 Son and I dine out with active UN member (9)
5 English king heading for livery yard (6) 3 Mislead knight climbing a ravine in East The shaded entries are the
10 Logic circuit sticks restricting independent London (5)
fifteen Team GB individual
robots (8) 4 Old rector prepared revised agenda (10, 2 gold medallists at the 2016
11 Dutch jewellery's no good (6) words)
Olympic Games.
12 Pine next to Irish bridge (8) 6 Square dance succeeded games at Hoylake for
example (9) Winner: Simon
13 Middle of now sprawling beech wood (6)
7 Courtly German leaves old Frenchman in Cunningham, HMRC.
15 Make the Mafia's leader sweat (9) command (5)
17 Island belonging to landlocked Asian country 8 Americans look for rises after any changes (7)
(5) How to enter
9 Bovine crossing a river joining lake (6)
19 Jack's last vessel carrying special beer low in Crossword entries should be
alcohol (5) 14 Perhaps sterilize article on hard ground (10)
sent by Friday 5 May 2017
20 Associates bursting with energy skipping at a 16 Earl can smile mixing an hallucinogen (9) to: Public Service Magazine
lively dance (9) 18 Soldiers and reformed internee out of Norway crossword, FDA, 8 Leake Street,
22 A woman, 51, left by Iowa nationalist (6) take part in a cross-country sport (9)
London SE1 7NN or by email
24 Kind nurse meeting Newton in Kentucky (8) 19 King Lear split with one daughter (7) (with ‘PSM crossword’ as the
26 Egyptian god accepted Greek character twice 21 See skill lifting wing cases (6) subject) to psm@fda.org.uk
(6) 23 Ill-mannered bloke on heroin (5) Please provide an email address
27 Gunners at work dress in wet weather clobber 25 Somewhat mistaken African source of fibre (5) so we can tell the winner how
(8) to claim their prize.
28 He imitates East Caribbean gardener? (6)
29 Welsh executive in favour of democrat (7)

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30 Public Service Magazine Spring 2017