Published: 05/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5812 Page 7

Staff are leaving public services because of stress, frustration with bureaucracy and lack of resources, according to an Audit Commission report published this week.

The report, Recruitment and Retention, also suggested that public sector employers do little to assess why staff leave, despite the importance of retention.

Only one in five of the people interviewed by the commission had completed an 'exit survey' allowing their employer to find out why they were leaving.

The report talks of lost opportunities, adding that workers are 'prepared to tell it like it is'.

'Nearly 80 per cent of those who had been asked gave their honest reason for leaving.'

The commission's own survey also points to the frustrations of red-tape in the public sector.

Again, nearly 80 per cent cited bureaucracy and paperwork as important or very important in their decision to quit a public sector job. Lack of resources was mentioned by nearly 70 per cent of respondents, with workload cited by 65 per cent.

More than half of those surveyed said 'not being valued by the government' was important or very important to their decision.