A CIVIL SERVICE FOR THE 21st CENTURY: DSA's
MODERNISING GOVERNMENT ACTION PLAN
Action Point 1
Vision and values statement to staff.
The Agency has prepared a vision and values
statement that has been published in the Agency house journal,
written into the corporate plan and communicated to all staff
through oral briefings. DSA has published the Civil Service vision
and values statement in the Agency's house journal. Briefing leaflets
have been issued and the topic was presented at the Agency's management
conference in February2000.
Action Point 2
Define the new leadership qualities (Cabinet
Office),Departments use for targeted recruitment/promotion.
We are awaiting details of the new leadership
qualities from Cabinet Office before taking this forward.
Action Point 3
Extend 360º feedback to everyone in SCS
by end 2001.
Although DSA has two senior civil servants (SCS),
the Chief Executive and Finance Director, DETR C are responsible
for their staff reporting arrangements. We have no plans at present
to introduce 360-degree feedback to staff at Grade 6 level and
Action Point 4
Develop corporate leadership for the Civil Service
Not seen to be the responsibility of DSA to
develop corporate leadership. We are expecting Cabinet Office
to take this forward.
Action Point 5
Develop a business planning process with bold
DSA havealready developed and introduced a business
planning process that includes bold aspirations. This has been
in place since the Agency's inception in 1990.
Action Point 6
Give coherence to the many objectives now being
set (PSAs and spending review 2000).
DSA has a set of six higher level objectives
that can clearly be seen to be relevant to the operational business
needs of the organisation and link back to the DETR road safety
objectives. In addition staff at all levels within the Agency
have their own, regularly reviewed, objectives that they are required
to match to one or more of the higher objectives in a balanced
scorecard style approach. All objectives meet the SMARTER criteria.
Action Point 7
Independent review of business planning.
The Agency use their Advisory Board, which comprises
senior independent members, and the DETR Corporate, Business &
Agencies Division (CBAD) to undertake independent reviews of DSA
Action Point 8
Work towards new pay and appraisal systems:
For SCS introduction in April 2001 (for Departments' introduction
DSA presently has a performance management based
staff reporting system, for pay and appraisal of staff, at Grade
6 level and below. We are at present in the process of reviewing
the pay and grading structure ofthe Agency with a view to introducing
a new system from August 2000. The Agency is keen to evaluate
and review the appraisal process once the current programme has
been concluded. In order to do this effectively the Agency would
wish to bid for £20K of funding under the "Invest
to Modernise Fund" in order to use an external consultant
to take this forward.
Action Point 9
Review SCS competences (Cabinet Office).
The review of SCS competencies is applicable
to Cabinet Office not DSA.
Action Point 10
Re-direct training programmes to support performance
management by July 2000.
Work is well underway in this respect with the
introduction, towards the end of 1999, of a DSA management development
programme (MDP), closely linked to our performance management
systems. A recent Investors in People (IiP) assessment suggested
we need to direct effort in developing junior managers, particularly
among the Driving Examine grades. In order to move the MDP forward
at a faster rate we wish to make an additional of £50k from
the "Invest to Modernise Fund". This additional
funding may also allow us to offer the MDP across the rest of
the DETR family.
Action Point 11
Guidance on better non-pay packages (Cabinet
Office) by summer 2000.
Guidance on better non-pay packages to be taken
forward by Cabinet Office.
Action Point 12
Set diversity targets by March 2000.
Challenging diversity targets are now in the
process of being prepared as part of our 2000-2001 action plan.
We recognise we have a steep hill to climb and therefore wish
to bid for £25K from the "Invest to Modernise Fund"
in year one to hire a consultant to look at breaking down cultural
recruitment barriers. Then in year two we wish to bid for a further
£75K to implement the findings and overhaul materials. However,
none of this will amount to anything without effective training.
We therefore wish to bid, over the next two years, for another
£5K from the "Invest to Modernise Fund" to
review the existing programme, and £25K to deliver an additional
MDP module on managing diversity.
Action Point 13
Include diversity objectives and targets in
business plans and managers' job plans.
These diversity targets will be included in
the DSA 2000-2001 business plan. All managers' job plans for next
year will include measurable outcomes.
Action Point 14
Diversity action plans.
Currently in the process of producing an action
plan. We have identified the need for good quality and fairly
urgent equality proofing of our human resource management including
pay. We therefore wish to bid for £30k in year one, and £60k
in year two, from the "Invest to Modernise Fund",
for an in-depth quality health check to review current process,
and to benchmark with other employers.
Action Point 15
Report annually on diversity progress.
DSA will provide progress reports towards the
DETR wide report to Ministers.
Action Point 16
Increase Departmental interchange targets for
secondments to 65 per cent of SCS.
DETR have responsibility for the two SCS staff
in DSA. For the interchange at other grades we have a scheme in
place with other DVO agencies for short term shadowing opportunities.
Depending on the success of this scheme we will look to set up
more formal interchange arrangements.
Action Point 17
To identify 100 prominent key tasks for secondees,
in parallel bring on 100 middle managers through public service
Nominations will be considered for the public
service leaders' scheme and the Chief Executive supports, and
will seek to contribute towards, the two initiatives.
Action Point 18
Achieve 100 pe cent year on year increase in
The DSA posts at SCS level, and the majority
of other senior and middle management posts, are already offered
in open competition so there is little scope for an increase.
Action Point 19
To re-define and re-name the fast stream by
We understand that this will be taken forward
by the Cabinet Office.
Action Point 20
Create space through targeted early retirement.
DSA has no plans at present to target early
retirement and is looking to employ efficient staff to age 65
whenever possible. The Agency will however be seeking to monitor
performance more effectively to ensure we are only retaining the
staff who are giving efficient service.
Action Point 21
Departments will talent spot and set up targeted
comprehensive development programmes by October 2000.
The Agency is already in the process of setting
up an external fast track scheme, bringing in a small number of
high calibre recent graduates on an annual basis. In addition
we intend to introduce an internal scheme of a similar nature
to bring on some existing staff who are identified to have exceptional
potential. We are also developing our Management Development Programme
(see action point 10).
Action Point 22
To set up a public service leaders scheme to
train 100 non-fast stream managers during 2000 (Cabinet Office).
The public service leaders scheme to be set
up by the Cabinet Office.
Action Point 23
To open up mobility between departments and
an electronic market place on a new web-site by June 2000.
Electronic market place on new web-site to be
set up by Cabinet Office.
Action Point 24
Give most promising performers wider experience
in areas of front line delivery, new presumption to reach the
SCS (experience of front line delivery or operational management
and working in more than one culture).
This is likely to affect DETR and other large
departments with high levels of front-line involvement with the
general public rather than DSA. However we will be informing all
our staff of the need to gain such experience if they hope to
advance to SCS level.
Action Point 25
Introduce marketable qualifications at a number
of skill levels (Cabinet Office).
Although seen to be more appropriate to Cabinet
Office the Agency is looking to introduce qualifications in a
number of areas including accountancy, procurement, estates, personnel
and call centre management.
Action Point 26
Make more use of merit promotion in post immediately.
DSA would welcome some relaxation in this respect
but have some concerns in relation to the Civil Service Commissioners'
stance to fair and open competition. However we intend to look
at the feasibility of some form of accelerated progression for
suitable candidates under the pay and grading review.
Action Point 27
Draw up a better deal for staff during 2000
(Cabinet Office with Departments).
DSA would like to conduct an attitude survey
in 2000, through an external consultant, and wish to bid for £30k
from the "Invest to Modernise Fund" to do this.
We are also intending to investigate the possibility of doing
an external benchmarking exercise.