A lot has happened in recent months, including publication of the Civil Service Reform Plan in June which you can view here: http://www.civilservice.gov.
Another question I’ve been asked is whether I have done enough to stand up to media criticism about the civil service. I have a responsibility to challenge unfair and inaccurate reporting and to promote all of the excellent work we do, and I hope people feel that is what I’ve been doing. It would be useful to know if not and, if not, what more you think is needed. But I strongly believe that we all have responsibility for being ambassadors for the civil service.
Civil Service Live took place earlier this month, and I wanted to thank all those who took part one way or another – whether contributing to a stall, joining in discussions, presenting at one of the sessions, or just coming along to learn more. I would like to hear you views about what you most liked about the event (and previous events if you participated in these), and to use it to re-launch the event next year. Please do let me have your thoughts.
More recently, I was profoundly disappointed to hear that the Public and Commercial Services Union has decided to strike on the eve of the Olympics. The eyes of the world are upon us and the whole country is uniting to make sure that everyone visiting London has the great experience they deserve.
Around 70,000 volunteer Games Makers will be helping to deliver the Olympics. Many of those are taking leave from their day jobs to get involved. Moreover, hundreds of civil servants have worked for months to prepare all the events, transport and security associated with this huge undertaking. These civil servants will be working throughout the summer to ensure everything goes to plan. I hope that people recognise this and do not judge us all by the actions of a few.
Contingency arrangements are of course being put in place to ensure we deal with people coming through our borders as smoothly as possible. And I am confident this will happen – as I said in my last blog, staff worked very long hours to manage peak arrivals during the strike in May, and prevented 25 people attempting to evade our border controls. But even at this late hour I hope that border staff will think again before taking action.
I am pleased to hear that the Public and Commercial Services Union has decided to call off its strike which was due to take place tomorrow, on the eve of the Olympics. This is a welcome development, and ensures we can concentrate on delivering the best possible service to our customers.