Civil Service: Secondments
House of Lords
Lord Adonis (Labour)
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many senior civil servants at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are on secondment to companies or organisations in the United Kingdom; how many were seconded to such companies or organisations in 2011; and to which companies and organisations they are or were seconded.
Baroness Warsi (Conservative)
There is currently one member of staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) senior management structure (SMS) on formal outward secondment. Four others from the FCO SMS are currently working for companies in the United Kingdom while they are on special unpaid leave (SUPL) from the FCO. Since 2009, a further four SMS officers had undertaken formal secondments and two SMS officers had worked for outside organisations in the UK while on SUPL from the FCO. The FCO encourages staff, including its senior members, to develop new skills and to broaden their experience through secondments to the private sector and other external organisations as well as within Government.
The FCO also encourages new Heads of Mission to engage with business ahead of their departure to post as part of the effort to implement the FCO's charter for business. The scheme permits short-term attachments (no longer than one week) and is designed to help senior FCO staff strengthen their general awareness and understanding of business issues relevant to their country of posting. There have been 16 such short-term placements since the scheme started in mid-2011.