At 1 October, the number of permanent civil servants was 466,500.
This was 6,900 higher than on 1 April 1999. In contrast, the number
of casual staff fell by 2,100 (13 per cent) in the six months to
been recruited in a drive to gradually reduce numbers of casual
Taking permanent and casual staff together, there was a rise of 4,700
(1 per cent) over this period.
In the year to October 1999 there was a rise in of 4,200 in the
number of permanent staff or nearly 1 per cent. This was the first
annual rise since 1992; it compares with an average fall of 1.8 per
cent per year over the last ten years. The number of casual staff
fell by some 3,200 over the year. Taken together, permanent and
casual staff numbers rose by just under 1,000 over the year.
The biggest increase in departmental figures is in the Inland Revenue
and arises largely from the transfer of responsibilities from the
Benefits Agency. The consequential reduction in the Benefits Agency
has been partially offset by expansion in other services. There were
also small increases in a number of other departments and agencies,
including Home Office, the Employment Service and the Prison Service.
This growth has been offset to some extent by reductions in other
areas, for example at Customs and Excise (due to earlier investment
in new technologies and work reorganisation) and Defence.
Devolution in Scotland and Wales and other reorganisations during the
six months resulted in a number of other changes in departments and
- The National Assembly for Wales took in some functions previously
carried out by Housing for Wales, Health Promotion for Wales and
Welsh Health Common Services Agency, which were previously outside
the civil service. A small Office of the Secretary of State for
Wales was also established. Taken together, these changes resulted
an increase of 260 civil servants in this period.
- In Scotland, the new Scottish Executive absorbed the Scottish
Courts Administration and the Office of the Advocate General. The
Scotland Office was also created. Overall these changes did not
result in a significant change in the number of civil servants in
post in Scottish departments and agencies.
- Other changes included the establishment of the Rent Service (a new
Executive Agency of the Department of Transport, Environment and
Regions), the merger of the Office of Gas Supply and Office of
Electricity Regulation to form OFGEM, and the demise of Government
1. The headline staffing figures are full time equivalents and give
appropriate weight to the hours worked by part-time staff in
calculating full-time equivalents. On average, a part-time employee
works for 3.2 days a week. Figures quoted in the news release are
rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. Staff employed in the Scottish Parliament, established in July,
are not included in these figures. Like the Westminster Parliament,
the Scottish Parliament is not part of the civil service.
3. Tables showing permanent and casual staff in post numbers at 1
October 1999 by department and by agency are available from 020-7270
5744 or on the website address below. They give figures for
industrial, non-industrial permanent and casual staff on a full-time
equivalent basis and, also permanent staff on a headcount basis
(full-time and part-time) staff.
4. An error to the April 1999 figures reported the Driving Standards
Agency has been discovered. The revised civil service total for
April 1999 is 459,600 (permanent staff, full-time equivalents). A
revised summary table is available from 020-7270 5744.
5. Civil Service summary staffing statistics are published twice a
year, for April and October. A wide-ranging review of user needs for
this data is currently under way. Details of the numbers of staff in
each department and executive agency are available on the internet.