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A new staff appraisal system was introduced in 1985, which assesses the achievement of results by staff against agreed objectives. All Departments have introduced, or are now introducing, the system.
My hon. Friend is right to focus attention on this matter. The new system of staff-appraisal, which applies to all non-industrial staff, has, on the whole, been widely welcomed by the Civil Service. It means that there is much greater employee involvement in their own affairs and in the affairs of the area in which they work. It enables them to set themselves clear objectives, which I think is in the interests of the Civil Service.
Will the Minister reassess the position of civil servants who will be in the firing line on 1 April when the social security changes come into being? Those are the people who will have to take the flak over the counter for the Government's policies. They are in the front line. Will the Minister reassess the terms and conditions of those whom the Government are putting in that exposed position?