Memorandum from the Permanent Under-Secretary
of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
FCO BOARDFURTHER REFORMS
Over the last few months, we have made a number
of changes to the way the Office is managed. The new, unified
FCO Board has met monthly since the beginning of the year, considering
policy and resource issues together. Since May, the new Directors'
Committee has discussed papers in advance of Board meetings, as
well as the implementation of Board decisions afterwards. Both
are supported by the new Directorate for Strategy and Innovation.
Earlier this month Jack Straw chaired the first meeting of the
Ministerial/Official Strategy and Finance Group, which will determine
policy for the resource allocation round following the Spending
Review settlement in July.
When the Board discussed these issues earlier
this year, we agreed to look also at the individual roles and
responsibilities of DUSs. We have now decided to make a number
of changes aimed at strengthening the corporate role of DUSs as
members of the Board and senior managers. To achieve this, we
share the responsibility for supervision
of geographical commands more evenly between FCO members of the
Board, to ensure that all Departments and Posts have a Board member
who is able to take a particular interest in their issues and
activities, and see to it that these are taken into account in
Board decisions. They will also have line management responsibility
for senior staff. Policy responsibility remains clearly with Directors;
clarify the responsibility of FCO
Board members as owners of Objectives, bringing them into line
with the new Objectives (which formally take effect next April).
FCO Board members will be responsible for the delivery of Public
Service Agreement targets, and for agreeing with Ministers priorities
for resource allocation within each Objective.
To reflect these changes to the role and responsibilities
of FCO members of the Board, together with the reforms to the
management structures I have already mentioned, we have also decided
to change their titles from DUS to Director General. I think this
better reflects the new roles, is less anachronistic, and will
be better understood both in Whitehall and in many countries overseas.
At the same time, and for the same reasons, Commands will be called
Some changes will take place with immediate
effect. Further changes will be made next year, to coincide with
changes to the structure of the Office that will be needed to
reflect the forthcoming enlargement of the EU. The allocation
of responsibilities set out below will take effect from 1 October.
As you will see, this will result in some delayering of responsibility:
Dickie Stagg will report straight to me as Director for Information;
UK Visas and Consular Division will be managed directly at Board
level by Graham Fry. The Group Chief Executive of British Trade
International will continue to be responsible for delivery of
FCO Objective two relating to trade development and investment
Sir Michael Jay
Permanent Under-Secretary of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
25 September 2002