TO have a more ''efficient'' Efficiency Unit, the Government has proposed grouping the unit's staff under a new department called the Management Services Agency. The unit itself was created to identify ways of providing a better service to the public and to make the Government more cost-effective. The proposal was made by the head of the unit, Mr Robert Footman, whose post is also due for review. Mr Footman was appointed to the temporary post in last May. The management services grade is now part of the unit. The future relationship between the Management Services Agency and the Efficiency Unit will be like that between a department and a policy branch. Mr Footman said the proposal had been sent to staff for consultation. ''The unit's existing structure is a temporary one and my job is to review the best way forward,'' Mr Footman said. Eventually, there will be only three officers left in the Efficiency Unit. By separating the agency from its day-to-day operation, the Efficiency Unit can concentrate on identifying initiatives in the civil service with the help of outside consultants, while the agency can handle more executive and routine duties. The agency will be headed by a directorate grade three officer but the post will have to be created. It is likely to be filled by the deputy of the unit, Mr Colin Sankey, who has been looking after the management services grade. Mr Footman said the future Management Services Agency would have 60 to 70 staff. It will be responsible for specific studies, such as value for money, and will operate a business centre, which will have about 11 staff. It will be supported by staff from the Information Technology Services Department. The main function of the centre will be to promote office automation, the use of computers and to help in design of forms within the civil service. The other half of the agency will be responsible for ''departmental efficiency initiatives'', which will include monitoring the reforms. In the past year, the unit has helped government departments to set up performance pledges and the Land and Companies Registries to set up trading funds. Performance pledges spell out the standards which departments aim to achieve in their contact with the public. Trading funds encourage departments to be more business-like in providing their services.