Civil Service Staff Turnover

Part of Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 23 November 2023.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Sub-Committee on National Policy Statements, Chair, Liaison Sub-Committee on National Policy Statements, Chair, Liaison Sub-Committee on Scrutiny of Strategic Thinking in Government, Chair, Liaison Sub-Committee on Scrutiny of Strategic Thinking in Government

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his appointment—and a very welcome one it is too. Does he acknowledge that although the problem of churn and generalism in the civil service has been around for 50 or 60 years, since the Fulton inquiry in the 1960s under Harold Wilson, it has become worse and worse? I thank him for the evidence that the Government have submitted to the Liaison Committee’s inquiry on strategic thinking in Government and how Select Committees can better scrutinise it, but if the Government do not have in place the experts and the people with domain knowledge, domain expertise and subject experience, there is not likely to be much good strategic thinking going on, given that Ministers often seem to know more about the subjects than the officials they are dealing with. May I invite my right hon. Friend to give us a supplementary note for the inquiry, so that we can understand their thinking on this matter more deeply?