Quarter of VOA staff want to leave

By James Buckley - Wednesday, December 07, 2016 14:13

Almost a quarter of the 2,000 staff employed by the Valuation Office Agency want to leave the organisation now or within the next year, a survey has found.

The Civil Service People Survey was led by the ORC International and released by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) itself. 

The VOA is responsible for attributing commercial property values to the 1.9 million businesses across England and Wales. Commercial property assessments, known as Rateable Values, can be challenged by business owners if they believe they are not fair and accurate to their individual premise.

A few weeks ago, the VOA released its statistics in challenges made by businesses to their rates. The document revealed that as of 30 September 2016, the VOA had received 1.04 million challenges against the 2010 Rating List, and that only 64,000 appeals had been resolved this year;  90,000 short of their own yearly target.

The most recent survey highlighted that;   

-24% of VOA staff want to leave the organisation (11% want to leave now, 13% within the next 12 months)

-Only 9% strongly agree that they have the tools to do their job

-Only 7% of staff strongly agree they have an acceptable workload

-Only 3% of staff strongly agree the VOA is well managed

-Only 2% of staff strongly agree that changes at the VOA are made for the better

-Only 2% strongly agree that their pay adequately reflects their performance

-Only 6% of those surveyed strongly believe that senior managers in the VOA will take action from this survey 

Mark Rigby, CEO of CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists, has long called for Government support for the VOA: “Enough is enough. The staff at the VOA are currently having to contend with a ‘leaky bucket’ of some 280,000 unresolved cases, a third-less resource by 2020, the possibility of a reduced Rating cycle from 5 years to 3, and a new, complex appeals process by way of ‘Check. Challenge. Appeal.’- what more can they take?

“The survey undertaken by staff at the VOA is a clear call for help, and I am disheartened that our Government continues to ignore their cries.

“The VOA provides an invaluable service to businesses and it is continuously starved of the support it needs. New rates bills land on the doormats of businesses up and down the country in 4 months, if not sooner.

“It’s time that our Government ‘steps up to the plate’ to get the VOA house in order ahead of what is expected to be another busy year for business rates appeals.”

jbuckley@costar.co.uk 

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