Under the British Government’s current plan, the devolution of authority for civil service pay will be complete in 1996, with all departments and agencies receiving control over the pay of their employees. The process of pay delegation began some years ago with selected Next Steps executive agencies. What lessons does the progress of the Conservative administration’s pay reform programme hold for the future? In examining the success that the government has had so far with delegation of pay to executive agencies, centres on primary research involving a postal survey of executive agencies and in‐depth interviews with several agency human resources directors. Provides an insight into the shape that pay reform is likely to take as further devolution occurs. Reform is unlikely to be either as rapid, coherent or concerted as the government would like. Concludes that while there is little question that change is occurring, its pace has not kept up with the government’s deadlines, and its form is only partially in line with the government’s stated objectives. Identifies several factors explaining the slow progress, most importantly: the internal inconsistencies among the government’s pay reform objectives; the uncertain environment in which many agencies are operating; agencies’ lack of resources; and a failure to take account of the institutional context.
Gagnon, S. (1996), "Promises vs performance: pay devolution to
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