back to article has shaved off 16% of IT staff in 4 years

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT Staff?

    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.

  2. Tony S

    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.

    1. JohnG

      Re: I need a "Mr Cynical" icon

      It would be more interesting to see all the relevant numbers and how they have changed i.e. staff, consultants, outsourced, etc. It would also be interesting to see how many jobs have been outsourced abroad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I need a "Mr Cynical" icon

      we do need a cynic icon, when government departments say they've 'cut' IT staff what they often actually mean is that the position has gone, it doesn't mean the staff are no longer in the department's employ, just that they now have a new job title and their wages are coming out of a slightly different bit of the departmental budget that hadn't been allocated to 'IT' so they can claim to have made a reduction in IT expenditure.

      Often this sideways move means that the member of staff is costing more for less work because they won't have had to take a pay cut.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I need a "Mr Cynical" icon

        Sorry but here at the DfT (not the DVLA or agencies they deal with their own outsourced IT) the IT staff are actually technical staff managing desktops, servers, switches, routers etc etc and not "just managing a contract". I can also assure you that the staff that have gone are actually gone and don't have a new job title or job elsewhere in DfT. I can also assure you that the posts haven't been filled by contractors or consultants (nigh on impossible to do in the present climate). Like everywhere we are having to do a lot more with a lot less (both in budget and in headcount). Can't comment about the other government departments (but you're probably right to be cynical about them though).

        AC for obvious reasons.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    *highly* suspicious

    Seems hard to believe htere are that many *directly* employed IT staff left in govt service.

    I smell an accountant trying to show they are "lowering" costs.

    Yet something tells me the projects for these 4 departments will manage to be near the top of both the overdue and *overbudget* lists for Whitehall projects.

    The fact the MoD are on this group pretty much guarantees it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tip of iceberg

    From a local government point of view my employer has gone from 220-ish staff down to 180-ish in 2 years, as we bash on for the race to the bottom. Deliver the mosty services with the least staff, or failing that just reduce staff to breaking point which will force under pressure staff off with stress, then make them redundant and outsource to a firm that will offer less and charge more. Hey presto, public gets what it wants.... you did want increased taxes and higher unemployment right?

  5. Jeebus

    Yet most services remain absolutely bloated and ridiculously inefficient. Frightening the incompetence and bloated nature of all public services, it's a shame the front line workers are punished because of back management shittery.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

  6. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    IT vs ICT

    Why is it when we switch to Education and International Development the workers switch from IT to ICT?

    Is it perchance the higher number of numpties who pretend to do IT work in those departments.

    Cant we ban the TLA ICT from El Reg?

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: IT vs ICT

      Because it sounds better, which is a shame because our ICT team was told by the board we don't deal with technology anymore, so we are now the IC department :S

  7. Wibble

    The jobs still exist, just done by suppliers

    All that's happened is the jobs have been shifted from internal to external suppliers. It'll cost much more in the long run.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no they havn't

    jobs have been specified and out sourced,

    so all those little jobs that were not mentioned in the original contract,

    like purchasing toner may be, are now done else where,

    and if you have a problem on the network, support is on the end of a phone Que,

    which might get back to you today, even if the minister wants something NOW.

  9. John A Blackley

    Cynic icon would be redundant on El Reg

    See above

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