More news of the bloodbath at the Central Office of Information. In reply to a parliamentary question, cabinet office minister Francis Maude – who has openly questioned whether the COI has a viable future – acknowledged that 236 of the original 287 (or 40% of the work force) earmarked for dismissal have now applied for voluntary redundancy.
Unlike many quangos, the COI is taking all its punishment upfront – with potentially disastrous consequences for its efficiency.
The voluntary redundancy programme is limited to a maximum of 15 months’ pay, or £76,700, whichever is the lesser. It was carried out under the shadow of legislation capping the theoretical maximum available via normal employment law.
Fifty-one more will presumably head to the exit under less benign circumstances in the coming weeks.
UPDATE 2/12/10: Peter Buchanan, the COI’s deputy chief executive, who has been with the organisation for 16 years, has added his name to the long list of those departing. He go at the end of this year.