Lord Browne, who was appointed by the prime minister in 2010, was brought into Whitehall to introduce better governance and equip the Civil Service with more strategic and commercial skills to deliver government policy.
Browne’s brief was described as “crucial” by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who credits Lord Browne and the establishment of a programme of efficiency and reform for helping the government to save taxpayers “£14.3 billion” last year as part of its long-term economic plan.
“I have enjoyed working extensively on improving governance and capability in Whitehall for the last four years,” said Lord Browne, adding: “There is much more to do, but it is now time for a new perspective on that process.”
He continued: “I have deep admiration and respect for the work of officials in the Cabinet Office and Civil Service as a whole, and wish them well for the next phase of reform.”
Speaking to the Financial Times, published this morning, about his time in Whitehall, Lord Browne described the resistance he initially faced after his appointment: “Right at the beginning at least one very powerful person said to me, ‘I want you to understand I think this is ridiculous’, and in effect said ‘and you’re ridiculous for taking it up’”.
Lord Browne will stand down from his positions by 31, January 2015.