Perm secs round-up 2015: Whitehall's top civil servants review the year – and look ahead to 2016

With the end of 2015 in sight, we asked Whitehall's top officials to look back at the year, set out their priorities for 2016 – and shed some light on their festive plans...

By Civil Service World

23 Dec 2015


Cabinet secretary and head of the civil service Sir Jeremy Heywood: "The dedication, creativity and indomitable spirit of civil servants remains unparalleled"
Civil service chief executive John Manzoni: "2016 will be about working smarter to get things done"
Department for Education permanent secretary Chris Wormald: "We've already made significant progress on our manifesto commitments"
Apprenticeships, the National Living Wage, and productivity: BIS perm sec Martin Donnelly on his 2016 priorities
Department for International Development perm sec Mark Lowcock: "Our biggest challenge in 2015 has been defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone"
Home Office perm sec Mark Sedwill on 2015 and tackling "fast-evolving threats" with a "significantly reduced" budget
Decc permanent secretary Stephen Lovegrove on the Energy Bill, climate change – and a weakness for gangster films
Ministry of Defence perm sec Jon Thompson: "Our biggest challenge is getting, keeping and inspiring the talent we need"
DCMS permanent secretary Sue Owen: "Focus on people and get the leadership right"
Ministry of Justice perm sec Richard Heaton: "We need to get better at recognising where we make things harder for BAME civil servants"
Defra's permanent secretary Clare Moriarty on her first impressions of the department – and her plans for 2016"
Department for Transport perm sec Philip Rutnam: "Network Rail's electrification problems posed some of 2015's biggest challenges"
Department of Health perm sec Una O'Brien: "2016 will be about getting NHS finances in better shape while protecting quality"
"2015 was dominated by crises": Foreign Office permanent secretary Sir Simon McDonald on a challenging year – and the FCO's plans for 2016
DWP has had a sharp focus on doing things once, and doing them right" – permanent secretary Robert Devereux reviews 2015 and looks to 2016
Sir Derek Jones: the Welsh government's top official on devolution and a year of "intense pressure and scrutiny"
Malcolm McKibbin on the Stormont crisis and his "most difficult" year as head of the Northern Ireland civil service
Scotland's top civil servant Leslie Evans on her first months in the job – and her plans for 2016

HMRC chief executive Lin Homer on 2015: "We had a big wobble on customer service – but we've learnt some things about transition"
Crown Commercial Service chief Sally Collier reviews 2015 – and looks ahead to 2016
Government communications executive director Alex Aiken reviews 2015 – and looks ahead to 2016
GDS executive director Stephen Foreshew-Cain: "Digital transformation can't be done without talented people across the civil service"
National Audit Office head Amyas Morse: "We're becoming a faster and more focused spending watchdog"
Major Projects Authority chief Tony Meggs on 2015: "A core focus has been tackling our talent shortage"
Where next for Whitehall's human resources plan? Interim HR heads Debbie Alder and William Hague look to 2016

Ordnance Survey CEO Nigel Clifford on a "year of transition" and his first months in the top job
Supercomputers, COP21, and top customer service: Met Office chief executive Rob Varley looks back on 2015
Ebola, antibiotic resistance and election year: chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies on 2015's biggest challenges
Charity Commission CEO Paula Sussex: "2015 has called for hard graft – but we've risen to the challenge"
Europe, devolution and civil liberties: Rowena Collins Rice on what 2016 will bring for the Attorney General's Office
Schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw: "I'm accused of being outspoken, but I'll never stop telling it like it is"
National Archives chief Jeff James: "The shift to digital means nothing will ever be the same again"
Director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders: "Tackling hate crime is a key priority for 2016"
Treasury solicitor Jonathan Jones: "2015 saw us become a better, more joined-up and efficient legal service"
Land Registry CEO Graham Farrant: "Our 2015 people survey scores show improvement – but there's more to be done"
UK National Statistician John Pullinger on the challenges of 2015 – and the ONS's plans for the year ahead
NS&I chief executive Jane Platt reviews 2015 – and looks ahead to the new year


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