Sir Bob Kerslake visited the Liverpool office of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) on Wednesday 4th July to learn more about the work of the IPS and the challenges faced by staff as well as to explain the recently published Civil Service Reform Plan and take questions and comments from staff directly.
The Identity and Passport Service is an Executive Agency of the Home Office and was established on 1 April 2006. Building on the strong foundations of the UK Passport Service, IPS is a customer focused organisation providing passports for British citizens and passport verification services. IPS employs around 3000 people in a network of offices across the UK. A new UK passport is produced every two and a half seconds of every working day.
He first met with the leadership team and was keen to get an understanding of the work they do delivering key services. The team discussed topics including Business Planning, the Overseas Passport Integration project ( a programme to transition expatriate passport services from the FCO to IPS), recruitment, the new performance management process, the development of a new application management system and the results of People Survey.
Following this Sir Bob had a whistlestop tour of the office taking in how passports are processed and a visit to the new local print room.
There was then an open forum where he talked to staff about his role as Head of the Civil Service and his vision for the future of the Civil Service. Sir Bob spoke about the Civil Service Reform and the purpose of this. He explained that three key objectives of the plan are to have a more unified, open and accountable Civil Service.
Sir Bob answered questions from staff around issues including pay, the need for shared services, the performance management system and the Reform Plan. Sir Bob acknowledged the work staff were doing and asked that all staff consider themselves as ambassadors for the Civil Service. Sir Bob ended the forum saying “Liverpool has huge spirit and is a city I have great affection for.”
Sir Bob said “I want to get out and about and see first hand what is happening where the majority of civil servants work outside of London. I am consistently seeing excellent examples of innovative delivery and service change across departments and civil servants doing incredibly important jobs.”
Graham Roberts, Area Operations Manager of the Liverpool office, said “I was delighted that he chose to visit IPS Liverpool. Sir Bob was very interested to find out about the issues and challenges we face here and particularly in the work we are doing to develop an online channel and how we are managing workflows more dynamically. Sir Bob spoke to a wide range of staff members and was able to tell them about his plans for Civil Service Reform.”