UK.gov has shaved off 16% of IT staff in 4 years
Department for Transport ICT lost 1 in 5 workers
The number of IT staff members working at four key Whitehall departments has fallen by 16 per cent in recent years.
According to figures from the departments, total IT headcount at the four organisations has dropped from 3,552 in 2008-09 to 2,971 in 2011-12.
The statistics were provided by the Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development, the Department for Education and the Department for Transport in response to freedom of information requests by Guardian Government Computing.
IT staff at the Department for Transport were cut by 22 per cent, falling from 51 in 2008-09 to 40 in January 2012. The department also revealed that there had been no compulsory redundancies since 2008-09, but said that 10 employees had taken voluntary early retirement or severance in 2010-11.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) cut IT employees by 17 per cent during the same period. It had 3,220 IT staff in 2008, but 2,670 by the start of this year. The MoD also made tens of staff redundant over the four years: 20 in 2008-09; 40 in 2009-10; 10 in 2010-11; and between one and five in 2011-12.
ICT staff at the Department for Education dropped from 187 in 2009 to 163 by the end of 2011 – representing a 13 per cent dip. In contrast, the number of ICT staff at the Department for International Development has increased by 4 per cent in the last four years, rising from 94 in 2008-09 to the present figure of 98.
The figures from the four departments come in addition to recent statistics provided by many other major government departments and take the overall drop in ICT staff numbers across Whitehall to 13 per cent over the last four years, falling from 6,352 in 2008-09, to 5,526 in 2011-12.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
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I need a "Mr Cynical" icon
Like the AC, I wonder if the number of IT staff has been cut, but the number of "consultants" has increased. Are we seeing more people being used as part of outsourcing which doesn't appear as "IT Staff"?
Just because I am cynical, doesn't mean they are not manipulating the figures to suit their own ends.
When you say, "IT Staff", do you mean people doing IT or people managing the contract under which the IT work was outsourced to one of the usual suspects? I doubt that there any many actual "IT Staff" left in the government's employ, apart, perhaps, from a couple of CIO's who might just be classed as IT workers.
I wish that I could disagree with you Jeebus, but I'm in the middle of it and I can't.
It does not necessarily follow that IT run by civil servants must be intrinsically inefficient. When I was employed by the Inland Revenue (i.e. up until 1994) the entire IT function was performed by 1800 staff. That was everyone: developers, admins, network people, DB admins, output operators, heck even the security guards. Munge in the Customs and Excise people and there weren't many more than 3000 bodies doing all the IT for the work now covered by HMRC.
Roll forward to today, nearly 20 years on from privatisation of all the work into the hands of EDS, Accenture, Capgemini, Fujitsu, BT and assorted other alickadoos and there are nearly three times as many people employed to deliver the kit and the software and still around 3000 civil service types managing the contract. Half of these people are duplicating effort on either side of contractural boundaries, while another third are entirely focused on either fucking over the customer and/or the other contractors or making sure that they aren't fucked over in turn by the customer or the other contractors. There are probably still the same number of people doing the actual work, but they are vastly outnumbered by the huge panoply of paperwork and governance drones buzzing around them.
As a taxpayer, I get depressed at how much taxpayer's money I am paid to waste, but that's my job these days.