Nearly half the finance directors polled in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question survey believe the public sector is overstaffed.
A resounding 44% said the sector was ‘definitely’ over-staffed with another 27% hedging slightly, saying this was ‘probably’ the case.
Rising levels of bureaucracy, plus a lack of willingness to apply commercial imperatives to resource issues, were to blame by many of those who answered yes.
Some laid the blame firmly at the door of government. ‘The creation of an unnecessary and over-complicated legislation and tax and benefits system has resulted in an extremely unhealthy increase in thoroughly unproductive and pointless bureaucracy,’ said Ian Rae, finance director of Penlon Ltd.
John Davies of Moore & Blatch, said: ‘If politicians were more business-minded in their approach we would not have seen the explosion in public sector posts that we have witnessed over the last few years.’
Others cited out-of-date training and working methods, as well as inadequate systems, as the reason for over-staffing. Some suggested the problem was caused by the failure to recruit and retain people with the right skills.
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