by Paul Knocker
In case you missed it there was a very revealing article in the DT in June headed:“Teflon Civil Servants, who never feel the heat”
The report by Christopher Hope and Richard Bacon was based on their recently published book -“Why every government gets things wrong, and what we can do
about it” and the publication of the Coalition’s “Major Projects Authority” annualreport, which most people have never seen, this showed that 31 of the largest projects were on the amber or red critical list.
The public rarely see anyone in Whitehall being held to account and career progress is often unaffected by spending cock-ups, which may have cost the taxpayer millions. Examples include Sir John Gieve, permanent Secretary at the Home Office 2001 to 2005, when the department’s administration collapsed and
the NAO “disclaimed” the accounts after discovering they were adrift by £26.5 billion. Sir John went to the Bank of England as deputy Governor in charge of financial stability and was at the helm at the start of the banking crisis. Sir John was replaced at the Home Office by Sir David Normington, fresh from the Department for Education’s £90 million “Individual Learning Accounts” fiasco.
In Birmingham, Lin Horner was the returning officer during a postal vote-rigging scandal that an election court said “would disgrace a banana republic”. Tesco bags of uncounted votes were discovered in the council offices. She became Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency. The Commons Home Affairs Committee criticised her tenure for its “catastrophic leadership failure”. Then she popped up as permanent secretary at the Department for Transport and was one of the officials connected with the West Coast mainline franchise – costs to the taxpayer c.£100 million. Her next appointment was Chief Executive of HMRC !!!!
There are many more examples, including Local Authorities, and today in the DT is an amazing exposure of the BBC’s top management and their redundancy