Recruitment opens for Sedwill's replacement as cabinet secretary

Only permanent secretaries and ex-perm secs may apply
Sir Mark Sedwill. Photo: Louise Haywood-Schiefer for CSW

Current and former permanent secretaries have been invited to apply to become the next cabinet secretary and head of the civil service.

In a brief job advert posted yesterday, the Cabinet Office said top officials had until 17 July to put themselves forward to succeed Sir Mark Sedwill, who announced his plans to step down at the end of last month.

The job ad gives away scant details of the recruitment process – saying candidates must contact the Office of the First Civil Service Commissioner for more details and a copy of the candidate pack.

Applications must then be completed and sent by noon on 17 July.

The job is only open to UK nationals, who must pass the Developed Vetting security requirements before they can be appointed.

They will serve a five-year term and earn £200,000. Sedwill’s earned between £200,000 and £205,000 in 2018-19, according to the Cabinet Office’s most recent annual report.

The successful candidate will succeed Sedwill in the autumn, two years after he moved into the post. Sedwill was appointed acting cab sec after Jeremy Heywood underwent treatment for cancer, before taking on the role permanently when Heywood stepped down in October 2018.

In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Boris Johnson, Sedwill said the two had agreed it was time for him to step down as the government’s focus shifts to “domestic and global recovery and renewal”.

David Frost, the government’s chief Brexit negotiator, will take on Sedwill’s third role as national security adviser, it was announced last month.

The announcement came after Dominic Cummings, the PM’s most senior political adviser and a longstanding critic of the way the civil service is run, promised a "hard rain” would fall on Whitehall after the coronavirus pandemic.

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