» Monday, August 16, 2004

Civil service Reform

Asked about reports that the Prime Minister had appointed Sir Patrick Brown to conduct a review into the way Civil Servants took up jobs in the public sector, the PMS pointed out that this was not a new story. The Cabinet Office had issued a news release on 22 July announcing the fact that there would be a review into how Civil Servants could move into private industry and how people from the private sector could move into the Civil Service. Put to her that a ‘welter of announcements’ had been put out on 22 July – the day that Parliament had risen for its summer recess, the PMS pointed out that the Prime Minister himself had said in a speech at a Civil Service Conference in Docklands in February that a review into this issue would be undertaken. She repeated that this was not a new story.

Asked if the Prime Minister wanted to remove the restriction on Civil Servants having to wait for months before taking up a post in the private sector, the PMS said that the Prime Minister wanted to have a look at the rules which had not been changed since 1996. Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the dangers of former public servants being in possession of sensitive information which might be of use to private firms, the PMS said that this was precisely why the Prime Minister believed it was necessary to have a review of the rules surrounding any moves from the public to private sector and vice versa. It was important to ensure that any such criticisms could not be made against anyone. Asked what had prompted the review in the light of the fact that the current rules were not that old, the PMS suggested that perhaps the transfer of people between the public and private sectors was happening more frequently, hence the need for the system needed to be looked at again and supported properly. Sir Patrick Brown was carrying out that review and we would await his recommendations.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. It seems odd that the "dangers of former public servants being in possession of sensitive information which might be of use to private firms" are only dangers for civil servants and not MPs or ministers. Politicians can not only move straight from government to a board room but they can also sit on the board while they are in office.

    The rules for civil servants are there to preserve impartiality. Why can’t we inist on the same level of dedication from politicians. No wonder we get feed all this nonesense about policies being ‘good for business’ rather than how bad those sam policies are us. The politicians are clearly lining up which business to fall into when they get kicked out of their job.

    Comment by Uncarved Block — 16 Aug 2004 on 7:31 pm | Link

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