AN initiative has saved £1m on Civil Service pay.
The chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Alfred Cannan MHK, has confirmed progress made so far with the recent ‘MARS’ severance scheme initiative within the Civil Service to cut staff numbers and save costs.
Mr Cannan said that as at January 31, 27 applications had been approved under the Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme, which will deliver annual savings of £850,000. A number of applications remain under consideration and the aim is to complete the process by the end of March 2013.
The total savings are expected to be £1.02million.
Mr Cannan added that due to the success of MARS, consideration would be giving to re-running the scheme later in the year.
He said: ‘I am very grateful to the Government Officers’ Association/Prospect for working very closely with the commission in relation to the development and implementation of this scheme.’
He added: ‘The recently-produced Chief Minister’s Agenda for Change document clearly identified the need for government to change.
‘Government is to become smaller and simpler and employment costs are to be cut. MARS is one of the means by which this objective can be achieved. The Civil Service Commission continues to work in partnership with the Government Officers’ Association/Prospect where matters relating to terms and conditions of existing civil servants are concerned.’
MARS was designed to facilitate an overall reduction in Civil Service staff numbers which would ultimately contribute to a reduction of government employment costs.
Successful applicants would be entitled to a severance payment provided their department was able to demonstrate a long term financial saving to government.
These payments were calculated using a number of factors including age of the individual, length of service (up to a maximum of 12 months pay entitlement), potential savings to the Department and the cost of achieving them in a defined period.