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Civil service jobs will in future be advertised in a standard format online, rather than in national newspapers.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said adverts in a national could cost as much as £10,000. Some advertising in local papers could continue, however, for as long as the digital divide keeps some people offline.

Pickles told the Local Government Association that he wanted to see jobs advertised online in an open and standard format so that they could be used and re-published by anyone. Such a move would likely hit revenues for the likes of the Guardian, long the favoured place for public sector appointments.

Pickles said the move would push down advertising costs and show local people what their council tax was being spent on.

He enthused: "Putting jobs online not only shows local people where their money is going. It will mean they can question whether those jobs are really needed at all. What does an audience development officer do? Is a 'cheerleading development officer' what taxpayers want? How many transformation officers and business development directors does one council need?"

The press release is here. ®

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