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Civil service staff numbers for October 1999 have been published. ...
Civil service staff numbers for October 1999 have been published.

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

October, to 14,700. In a number of departments permanent staff have

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

Property Lawyers.


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.

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