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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Looking backwards

This is how the staff of the FCO are deployed, from a FOI request last year.

By far the biggest chunk are in the EU Directorate. It dwarfs "Iraq" or "Strategic threats" as a priority.

Probably the most worrying thing is how many people at the FCO are having to spend their time in endless EU meetings (the past) rather than thinking about - say - what to to about rising Asia (the future). We have far more people still watching Brussels than Beijing or New Delhi.


621 EU Directorate
598 UK Visas
296 Americas Directorate
252 Human Resources Directorate
251 UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
246 Consular Directorate
228 Asia Pacific Directorate
210 Africa Directorate
202 International Security Directorate
190 Middle East North Africa Directorate
175 Central Units
156 Information Directorate
144 Finance Directorate
132 South Asia Group
118 Defence & Strategic Threats Directorate
100 Security Strategy Unit
79 Global Issues Directorate
73 Economic Policy Directorate
70 Iraq Directorate
69 Eastern Directorate
44 IT Strategy Unit
33 Protocol Department
29 Estate Strategy Unit
19 Whitehall Liaison Department
11 Development & Innovation
6 Other policy staff


Anonymous said...

You conveniently didn#t mention the asterisk, chaps: the FCO response notes that "figures for geographic units/directorate include British-based officers who are currently serving at our posts overseas."

So the 621 for the EU Directorate presumably includes all the Diplomatic Service staff at each of the 26 UK embassies in Member States, as well as those engaged on work with the EU institutions.

If the FOI request was made in 2006, it's entirely likely that the figures themselves relate to the FY 2005-06, i.e. the period of the UK Presidency, when staff resources devoted to EU business was necessarily high.

But it's not in the nature of this blog to allow for balance, is it?

Open Europe blog team said...

(A) That doesn't take away from the point - the same applies for each region. Indeed there are more capitals in the other areas, so the focus on the EU is even more pronounced when you take that into account...

(B) If anything there were slightly less people working in the EU directorate in 2005 than in 04 - so it certainly isn't just the result of a surge for the EU presidency.

(C) For the record - this blog doesn't purport to be disinterested... we do aim for the stuff on it to be true though...