(a) The Civil Service
was essentially based on the cult of the amateur or generalist.
This feature was most evident in the administrative class which
dominated the service. Administrative class officials were regarded
as amateur because they were moved too frequently from job to
job and had no specific professional education or formal training
for their work.
(b) The system of classes
impeded the work of the Civil Service. The Fulton Committee was
critical of the classification system, which it considered had
caused the Civil Service to become rigid and had made it difficult
for staff to move among the various classes. The Committee also
took the view that the word 'class' in Britain had developed social
connotations which could produce feelings of inferiority. As an
alternative, the Committee proposed occupational 'groups' and
'categories', together with a simplified pay structure.
(c) Many scientists, engineers
and other professional specialists were not given the responsibility
or authority they deserved. The Committee therefore recommended
that these specialists be given more policy-making and management
opportunities, and training to equip them for their new work.
The Committee recommended the creation of a new Civil Service
College to provide this training and to meet the other training
needs identified in the report.
(d) The Committee considered
that the Civil Service lacked skilled managers. One reason for
this was that most of the work of most Senior Civil Servants was
not managerial, but rather related to matters such as the preparation
of explanatory briefs and answers to parliamentary questions.
To improve management skills, the Committee recommended that administrators
should become more specialised, and more training in management
should be given to scientists and specialists. The Committee also
recommended that the principles of 'accountable management' be
introduced. (According to those principles, the performance of
individuals (or units) is measured as objectively as possible,
and those individuals (or units) are then held responsible for
tasks they have performed. Accountable management requires cost
centres to be identified, and costs to be precisely allocated
to the official in charge of each one.) To improve management
even further, the Committee recommended several more innovations:
the establishment of a new Civil Service Department; the creation
of a management services unit in each department to promote new
management techniques; a planning and research unit to undertake
major long term planning; and the creation of departmental planning
units to acquire facts and to consider and administer policy.
The head of the planning unit would be the Senior Policy Adviser
to the Minister.
(e) The Committee considered
that there was not enough contact between the Civil Service and
the rest of the community. This was partly because Civil Servants
were expected to spend their entire working lives in the Service,
and partly because the administrative process was surrounded by
too much secrecy. The Committee therefore recommended greater
openness in Government, less anonymity for officials, and greater
mobility of staff into and out of the service. They recommended
the use of short term appointments, temporary interchange with
industry and commerce, and more flexible pension arrangements.
(f) The Committee also took
the view that within the Civil Service there were major defects
in personnel management. There was not enough career planning,
and communication was bad between the Civil Service Commission,
departmental establishment divisions and the Treasury. The Committee
therefore recommended the creation of a new Civil Service Department,
within which the Civil Service Commission would continue to operate,
and the adoption of new recruitment procedures for administrators
and high fliers.
27. The impact of the
Fulton Report was very far-reaching, and many of the numerous
changes which took place in the Civil Service over the next thirty
years had their origins in Fulton's recommendations. It is possible
to summarise only the main ones.