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Departmental Manpower

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what public sector job reduction targets have been set for her Department and its non-departmental public bodies for each of the next 24 months; and what steps she plans to take to meet such targets.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department does not have "job reduction targets". We have committed to reducing our administration costs across the Department and its non-departmental public bodies by 33% by the end of the current spending review period.

To achieve this we are looking first to save as much as possible from non-pay costs, including significant reductions in the use of consultants, operational savings in IT and estates and other non pay costs.

We have operated a freeze on external recruitment since 25 May 2010, and have made a commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible. We are therefore aiming to achieve the cost reduction required through normal staff turnover, voluntary exits, then voluntary redundancies wherever possible.

We are currently running a departmental voluntary exit scheme. Following the departures from this round of exits we will need to re-assess the position and savings we have achieved before taking decisions on next steps.

DEFRA's non-departmental public bodies are managing their own staff exit schemes.

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