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Dr Malcolm Couch resigns from DHSC

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34 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

And that's worrying as it's built around one man.

Indeed - and that person is nominally the Chief Minister, but effectively the Chief Secretary.  A civil servant responsible to no one, especially with such a weak CM.

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5 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Indeed - and that person is nominally the Chief Minister, but effectively the Chief Secretary.  A civil servant responsible to no one, especially with such a weak CM.

Actually, it was CT that I had in mind as he seems to be the main mover/architect of much of what has happened.

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5 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

Actually, it was CT that I had in mind as he seems to be the main mover/architect of much of what has happened.

But as Roger says, in practice there’ll be an awful lot of day to day clout (increasing in nature and scope) vested in the head of the civil service.

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13 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Indeed - and that person is nominally the Chief Minister, but effectively the Chief Secretary.  A civil servant responsible to no one, especially with such a weak CM.

If Beecroft  is to believed when she was trying to rid her department of Couch she blamed both of them for her demise.

 

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2 hours ago, Uhtred said:

But as Roger says, in practice there’ll be an awful lot of day to day clout (increasing in nature and scope) vested in the head of the civil service.

CT is de facto CM.

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9 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

Actually, it was CT that I had in mind as he seems to be the main mover/architect of much of what has happened.

It's a very common misconception that Thomas is the Minister for the Cabinet Office.  He isn't - that's Quayle[1].  Thomas is only Minster for Policy and Reform. That means he's got lots of responsibilities for coordinating stuff, but no actual power to do so and few civil servants actually working for him that he can direct.  He's basically Minister for Reports Nobody Reads.  The real power lies with the Chief Secretary.

Even if Thomas or Allinson (the Cabinet Office Departmental Member) tried to impose something that didn't suit some civil servants, the latter can just go to Quayle and get it stopped.  Though that also happens with Quayle in other Departments as well as we saw with Beecroft.  The idea of the Cabinet Office was to create a Department that made sure things were coordinated, but it was really intended so that the Chief Minister could interfere wherever he wanted, over the heads of the professionals in each Department.  Even with a strong CM who knew what he wanted, it would have been a bad idea.  But with weak one such as Quayle or Bell, it just means you end up with yet another 'silo' rather than the divisions being broken down, plus occasional arbitrary interference.

 

[1]  Initially it had been intended that this be a separate person, but Bell's control-freakery wouldn't allow it - and certainly not if it involved giving power to Robertshaw, the P&R Minister.  This has ended up being the norm, because it means there is a large government department without any potential political control, which the civil service likes. 

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21 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

And that's worrying as it's built around one man.

No Dr Allinson is also in the Cabinet Office

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5 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

It's a very common misconception that Thomas is the Minister for the Cabinet Office.  He isn't - that's Quayle[1].  Thomas is only Minster for Policy and Reform. That means he's got lots of responsibilities for coordinating stuff, but no actual power to do so and few civil servants actually working for him that he can direct.  He's basically Minister for Reports Nobody Reads.  The real power lies with the Chief Secretary.

Even if Thomas or Allinson (the Cabinet Office Departmental Member) tried to impose something that didn't suit some civil servants, the latter can just go to Quayle and get it stopped.  Though that also happens with Quayle in other Departments as well as we saw with Beecroft.  The idea of the Cabinet Office was to create a Department that made sure things were coordinated, but it was really intended so that the Chief Minister could interfere wherever he wanted, over the heads of the professionals in each Department.  Even with a strong CM who knew what he wanted, it would have been a bad idea.  But with weak one such as Quayle or Bell, it just means you end up with yet another 'silo' rather than the divisions being broken down, plus occasional arbitrary interference.

 

[1]  Initially it had been intended that this be a separate person, but Bell's control-freakery wouldn't allow it - and certainly not if it involved giving power to Robertshaw, the P&R Minister.  This has ended up being the norm, because it means there is a large government department without any potential political control, which the civil service likes. 

That seems like a very well informed and highly persuasive analysis Rog. You’re not the Chief Secretary are you?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

It's a very common misconception that Thomas is the Minister for the Cabinet Office.  He isn't - that's Quayle[1].  Thomas is only Minster for Policy and Reform. That means he's got lots of responsibilities for coordinating stuff, but no actual power to do so and few civil servants actually working for him that he can direct.  He's basically Minister for Reports Nobody Reads.  The real power lies with the Chief Secretary.

Even if Thomas or Allinson (the Cabinet Office Departmental Member) tried to impose something that didn't suit some civil servants, the latter can just go to Quayle and get it stopped.  Though that also happens with Quayle in other Departments as well as we saw with Beecroft.  The idea of the Cabinet Office was to create a Department that made sure things were coordinated, but it was really intended so that the Chief Minister could interfere wherever he wanted, over the heads of the professionals in each Department.  Even with a strong CM who knew what he wanted, it would have been a bad idea.  But with weak one such as Quayle or Bell, it just means you end up with yet another 'silo' rather than the divisions being broken down, plus occasional arbitrary interference.

 

[1]  Initially it had been intended that this be a separate person, but Bell's control-freakery wouldn't allow it - and certainly not if it involved giving power to Robertshaw, the P&R Minister.  This has ended up being the norm, because it means there is a large government department without any potential political control, which the civil service likes. 

Much is made of Sir Alan Duncan acting as the Foreign Office 'pooper-scooper' when Johnson was Secretary of State there

Does CT have a similar role in the Cabinet Office?

Edited by Donald Trumps

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On 6/21/2019 at 1:40 AM, Andy Onchan said:

Actually, it was CT that I had in mind as he seems to be the main mover/architect of much of what has happened.

Saving us loads of money too. 

 

34D09A02-6FCB-44A2-9D53-DAD8A53E7A2C.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, piebaps said:

https://www.judgments.im/content/J2569.htm

This employment tribunal is a helpful read

Great so one of the people who did the bullying and who was asked to have no part in the process by the accuser actually got to frame the terms of reference for the investigation investigating their own behaviour? That could only happen in the public sector. 

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Whilst I’ve admittedly only skim-read most of that, none of it reflects at all well on Couch (or many others).

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22 hours ago, MrPB said:

Great so one of the people who did the bullying and who was asked to have no part in the process by the accuser actually got to frame the terms of reference for the investigation investigating their own behaviour? That could only happen in the public sector. 

It’s amazing all this stuff is in the public domain but only those who know are aware that it’s there. That case is just appalling across the board. 

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