Minister reveals that the majority of the 765 civil servants devoted to a project in one policy area are focused purely on digital
Credit: Daniel Catt/CC BY-SA 2.0
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport now dedicates about 70% of its personnel resources to digital policy and projects.
As of the beginning of 2020, the department employs 1,264 civil servants.
The majority of these – 765 – are focused solely on projects in one of the department’s four policy areas.
Of these, more than two thirds are dedicated to digital, with 542 civil servants currently working exclusively in this area. A cumulative total of 223 work across the other three, including 116 on culture, 57 on media, and 50 on sport.
The dominance of digital is despite this being a comparatively new addition to DCMS’s workload. Having been, effectively, founded in 1992 as the Department of National Heritage, the organisation was known for 20 years as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
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The word ‘digital’ was only added to the organisation’s name as recently as summer 2017. This, according to the then DCMS secretary Karen Bradley, was because “half of its policy and delivery work now covers the digital sectors”.
Since then, the department has further expanded its technology-related remit, including taking over from the Government Digital Service responsibility for policymaking in the areas of digital identity and data.
The latter has become a particularly significant area, with DCMS currently working on the National Data Strategy, which is due to be published in the coming months.
The remaining 499 departmental staff comprise those who work in a centralised corporate function, such as human resources or finance, as well as others – such as DCMS’s Central Analytical team – whose work cuts across two or more areas. Some teams, meanwhile, are focused on areas outside of the four stated policy responsibilities; these include the Office for Civil Society, and a unit focused on gambling.
Workforce information was provided by Nigel Adams, the minister for sport, media and creative industries, in answer to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Tracy Brabin.