Whitehall – permanent secretaries find a new breeding ground

In the current climate of budget pressure, headcount cuts are likely across government.  Cuts are most effective when they start from the top - Liam Fox signalled recently for instance (quite rightly) that military 'top brass' (Generals, Admirals and so on) were not going to be immune from the cuts. And I'm sure Philip Green will bear that in mind as he conducts his review of Government spending.

So...which Whitehall Department currently has THREE TIMES as many staff at Permanent Secretary level than any other Department; or to look at it another way, more than the Home Office, Defra, Culture Media & Sport, Energy and Climate Change, Communities, Education, Work & Pensions and Transport put together?

Answers on a postcard please to Sir Philip Green, Arcadia Group Ltd, Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NL

First correct answer as a comment here wins a valuable prize (or alternatively a pint at a Westminster hostelry of your choice...)

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Voices (3)

  1. Peter Smith:

    Too damn clever Mr Rob…And Paul, you’re quite right, it will be down to a mere 8 when Nigel goes.
    Gus O’Donnell Cabinet Secretary (GOD to his friends)
    Nigel Smith CEO OGC
    Ian Watmore COO ERG
    Jeremy Heywood Perm Sec, No 10 (Prime Minister’s Office_
    Stephen Laws First Parliamentary Counsel
    Peter Ricketts National Security Secretariat
    Alex Allan* Joint Intelligence Organisation
    Matt Tee Perm Sec, Government Communications
    Jon Cunliffe Europe and Global Issus Secretariat (what a great job title)
    * now you’ve read that, I’m going to have to kill you…
    Mr Allan is also one of the world’s greatest experts on the Grateful Dead…no, really…have a look at this. How cool is that (as my daughter would say)

  2. Paul Seddon:

    Rob is right, I’m sure, so he’s first to your proferred pint, Peter. I think the CO has six PS level mandarins – seven, if you include Nigel Smith at the OGC, which is now more Cabinet Office than Treasury.

    That is only good for a few days, though, as Nigel leaves for less choppy waters next week. A sad loss to the Government, I think, as he has been a great bridge of cultures between the public and private sectors.

  3. Rob:

    You might think Health or Defence (as they’re not on your list), but I’m going to take a wild guess and say….Cabinet Office.

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