Anyone for re-politicising the civil service?
This, however, would not seem to be good enough for sundry minister and ex ministers:
Straw: "For sure you shouldn’t turf people out as you come in, you should take those who are there, but as they change you should have a high level of discretion over them”.
Charles Clarke, another former home secretary, also expressed frustration with the fact that ministers were unable to swiftly get rid of unwanted permanent secretaries.
..David Blunkett said politicians were confronted with a system where they couldn’t appoint, promote or sack those working under them.
He said secretaries of state should be directly responsible for the appointment, from a shortlist, of their permanent secretaries and the next three highest ranks.
“How can you have a situation where in the end the permanent secretary isn’t answerable to the secretary of state, but is answerable to the secretary to the cabinet?” he asked".
I do not think that one would have to be up to an Olympic standard of cynicism to recognise that this would set place us on the express train to wholesale politicisation of the civil service, with advancement dependent on sucking up to ministers rather than ability to perform a task. Not good.