Hugely misleading to suggest the number of HR professionals in the Cabinet Office is a sign of inefficiency

19 May 2022

It has been reported today that there are 700 HR professionals working in the cabinet office and that this is a sign of huge inefficiency -this is a deeply misleading position.

Whitehall and Downing Street street sign

In fact, those 700 HR professionals were brought into the Cabinet Office by Francis Maude to centralise some HR functions across the whole civil service where it made sense to do so.  Within the civil service as a whole there is only one HR professional for every 1,000 civil servants.

Garry Graham, Deputy General Secretary of Prospect, responded to the story:

“The bringing together of civil service HR into the Cabinet Office was an initiative of Francis Maude to centralise expertise in HR to serve the rest of the civil service.

“It was designed as an efficiency measure. It is not just for the Cabinet Office. It was created to avoid duplication across departments and agencies, so the wheel was not being reinvented.

“It advises government departments and agencies on issues like pay reward, performance and management, diversity and inclusion initiatives. A whole range of things.

“If we’re talking about efficiency you might want to look at how many special advisers were in 2015 compared to last year. It has increased around 23 per cent. “