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WhiteHall set to outsource ...

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    WhiteHall set to outsource ...

    "Politically, this is huge. It is the Government as an employer prepared to look overseas to cut labour costs. The question is, do we want a public service based in the UK, serving the citizens, or do we want to move to a more commercialised model?"




    Ministers are secretly planning to switch tens of thousands of civil servants' jobs abroad in the biggest exercise of its kind by a British government.

    Under the unprecedented cost-cutting initiative, call centres and some other functions at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Whitehall's biggest ministry, are expected to be moved to eastern Europe or India where pay is a fraction of that earned by staff in Britain.

    A confidential document dealing with the security implications of such an exercise reveals that the Government is considering proposals by private companies to take work overseas.

    "This could involve the transfer of part or even all of the functions of a DWP area of business that would have previously been located in the UK, to a centre located outside the UK," says the document, written by the department's security team. The memorandum warns that strict measures will have to be taken to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked.

    One or two minor civil service functions involving small groups of employees have already been moved "offshore", but never whole business areas of a major Whitehall department.

    Leaders of PCS, the largest union in the civil service, fear that the policy is being replicated in other ministries.
    The union expressed concern that call centres dealing with pensioners, job seekers and benefit claimants - some of the most difficult queries to deal with - may move overseas.

    The revelations about ministers' intentions will deepen the bitterness of DWP staff - who are due to walk out on Thursday and Friday - over 15,000 job cuts prompted by the Chancellor's insistence on a slimmed-down Civil Service. It could also provoke a backbench rebellion among Labour MPs.

    Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of PCS, said his organisation had not been consulted despite the fact that 70 per cent of the department's 120,000 staff were members of the union.

    "This shows utter contempt for unions and the workforce. The document clearly shows they are not flying a kite, these are detailed security proposals.

    "This Government has privatised more civil service work than the Thatcher and Major governments. When in opposition, Labour would have cried foul if a private company did this.

    "Politically, this is huge. It is the Government as an employer prepared to look overseas to cut labour costs. The question is, do we want a public service based in the UK, serving the citizens, or do we want to move to a more commercialised model?"

    #2
    Come on, Alf, keep up...

    http://forums.contractoruk.com/thread5706.html

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