Private sector chiefs commend perm secs

Top flight chief executives have sung the praises of both the management approach and the professionalism of permanent secretaries in a Whitehall and Industry Group (WIG) released yesterday.

By Samera Owusu Tutu

17 Oct 2014

The report follows WIG’s inaugural ‘Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive Insight Days’, where some of the country’s leading chief executives are paired with permanent secretaries and each spends a day in the life of the other.

In the report chief exec of Yorkshire Water Richard Flint, who was paired with Sir Peter Housden of the Scottish Government, noted: “I was also struck by the management approach and enormous professionalism of the civil servants and the real care with which they considered the impact of their work”.

After his pairing with Department for International Development perm sec Mark Lowcock, CE of GKN Nigel Stein stated: “I was very impressed, more impressed than I expected, by the quality of the people and the scale of the challenges they face.”

The 13 pairings [see box in right-hand column] included cabinet secretary Jeremy Heywood.

Both sides affirmed that the mutual learning was “valuable and a worthwhile use of top management time”.

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