MPs call Home Office bonus culture 'irresponsible'

31 January 2014

Home Affairs Committee publish report on the work of the Permanent Secretary

The Committee concluded that:

  • With the current financial pressures on the Home Office and the increased public scrutiny of bonuses it is irresponsible of the Home Office to continue to pay in staff bonuses, with a total value of £6,524,712.18, despite poor performance in many areas. Mark Sedwill, the Permanent Secretary, has shown leadership by not taking a bonus for this year.
  • The current picture of police procurement is dismal. The Home Office is relying on it to deliver much of its financial savings but it is hopelessly fragmented, and the Home Office itself has only the sketchiest idea of what is going on. The Government should issue detailed guidance to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Chief Constables about good procurement practice.
  • The Home Office procurement arrangements should be made more efficient and open. The current near oligopoly caused by monolithic contracts should be broken and the deals split into smaller arrangements immediately.
  • The engagement and confidence in the leadership of the Civil Service in the Home Office is at crisis levels and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Chairman of the Committee Keith Vaz MP said:

“It is irresponsible that the Home Office has continued to pay big bonuses despite presiding over many failures. I welcome the fact that Mark Sedwill, the Permanent Secretary, has led from the front and refused a bonus for this year, others in the department should have followed his lead. We should end the culture of rewarding failure.

Procurement remains a fundamental problem for the Home Office. There is a shocking lack of support for Chief Constables and PCCs on how best to procure for their forces. The Government needs to issue guidance immediately in order to ensure that both, the police have the best equipment and the public get value for money.

There is an urgent need for all Home Office contracts to be made more transparent and efficient. It is futile to continue to pay vast amounts of money to large companies who do not perform. Smaller deals will allow the Government to root out those who do not deliver.”

Further information

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