FCDO offers up to £160k for new second perm sec

Role will lead on international development “in constrained resource environment” says Philip Barton
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Photo: Google Maps

By Jim Dunton

24 Mar 2023

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has launched the recruitment drive for a new second permanent secretary.

It is offering a salary of up to £160,000 a year to the successful candidate to succeed Sir Tim Barrow, who was second perm sec until September last year, when he was appointed as national security adviser.

According to the FCDO’s most recent annual report and accounts, Barrow’s 2021-22 salary was bracketed at £160,000-£165,000. However, the role is being changed and Barrow had also served as FCDO political director.

The new focus of the role – dubbed second permanent under-secretary in the FCDO’s language – is to lead on international development. The change was trailed earlier this month and flagged in last week’s Integrated Review 2023 strategy refresh as part of a package of measures to “maximise the benefits” of 2020’s merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

According to FCDO’s job advert, the successful candidate will be tasked with delivering the government’s international development strategy, providing “senior leadership to the development community” and acting as delegated accounting officer for Official Development Assistance programmes.

The new second perm sec will ensure the “alignment” of the FCDO’s approaches to international development and foreign policy.

In the application pack, FCDO permanent secretary Sir Philip Barton made a direct reference to the government’s controversial 2021 roll-back on the pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on ODA in light of financial pressures caused by the Covid pandemic.

“I have created a second permanent under-secretary to lead the department’s development work, ensuring delivery of the government’s international development strategy in a constrained resource environment as part of an integrated vision for development and diplomacy to deliver the UK’s international objectives,” he said.

“I am looking for a confident, empowering leader, with exceptional influencing and stakeholder engagement skills, excellent judgement and a track record in the provision of policy advice.

“The successful candidate will have a long-term vision for their area of work; help to set the overall direction of the department; shape and deliver the government’s international agenda, and play a major role in leading and empowering a diverse global organisation of more than 17,000 people.”

Barton said the second perm sec would join the FCDO board and executive committee.

“I can guarantee a fascinating and rewarding job, at the centre of world events and with the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives,” he added.

The senior civil service Pay Band 4 role is based in London. Applications close on 2 April.

Read the most recent articles written by Jim Dunton - Farage floats plans to slash £50bn from departments and cut taxes

Share this page