Outsiders may be brought in to run Government departments in new plan

Outsiders may be brought in to run Government departments under radical proposals to shake up Whitehall

  • Ministries are currently led by civil servants known as permanent secretaries
  • Some ministers want those jobs opened up to experts appointed by politicians 
  • The review of the Civil Service that is likely to be led by Lord Maude of Horsham

Outsiders could be brought in to run Government departments under radical plans to shake up Whitehall.

At present ministries are led by civil servants known as permanent secretaries – like Sir Humphrey in the sitcom Yes, Minister – but some ministers want those jobs opened up to experts appointed by politicians.

The plan could be considered in a review of the Civil Service that is likely to be led by Lord Maude of Horsham, a minister under Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron, the Financial Times said. 

The review of the Civil Service that is likely to be led by Lord Maude of Horsham, pictured, a minister under Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron

In the Coalition, he developed a ‘functional model’ to ensure that the whole of Government could get the same expert advice in areas such as property, finance, personnel and law.

And in a report a year ago on improving efficiency, he called for the cosy world of top Whitehall jobs to be opened up. 

‘The most important element must be that there is a sensible and short recruitment process to attract the best people,’ he said.

A Government spokesman said: ‘The reviews into Civil Service governance and models of accountability will take place this year. They will seek to learn from other countries, organisations outside the Civil Service and from recent experiences in Government’.


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At present ministries are led by civil servants known as permanent secretaries – like Sir Humphrey in the sitcom Yes, Minister – but some ministers want those jobs opened up to experts appointed by politicians

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