Julian Raises Concerns over the Future of DEFRA Offices in York
November 7, 2013
Julian has today called for a debate in the House of Commons on the outsourcing of jobs abroad. This follows on from the recent announcement that the DEFRA offices in York will be part privatised as part of the Governments shared services initiative.
This initiative forms an integral part of the Government’s Civil Service Reform plan to make the civil service more efficient, cost effective and unified and could help save the taxpayer between £400 million and £600 million a year by 2015/16. However, whilst supporting the principle, Julian has concerns over the implications this initiative could have for jobs being lost abroad.
Speaking in the House of Commons during Business Questions, Julian said:
“It was announced recently that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offices in York will be part-privatised. That is causing concern for a number of my constituents. May we have a debate on the outsourcing of jobs and, more importantly, on the fear that some of those jobs might be outsourced abroad?”
In response to his question, Andrew Lansley MP, the Leader of the House of Commons, said:
“My hon. Friend will be aware of the benefits of joint working and the sharing of services between Departments. I do not think that any decision has been made, other than that services will continue to be provided out of York and Alnwick. Beyond that, I do not know what the situation is. I will ask colleagues at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to write to him about where shared services might be delivered.”
Reflecting on what the Minister said, Julian commented:
“I do agree with the Governments initiative as I believe shared services make perfect sense as they eliminate the duplication of work, improve efficiency across departments and can save the taxpayer money.
“However, I am disappointed that the Minister was not able to discuss the opportunity to debate this important issue. Although it is reassuring to know that no decision has yet been made to outsource these jobs abroad, as in this current economic climate I personally believe we cannot afford to lose jobs through outsourcing abroad.
“I have already written to Francis Maude MP, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and I hope to receive more information from DEFRA following the Leader of the House’s response. If I am not satisfied with his reply I will continue to push for a debate on this important issue.”