Examination of Witnesses

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:28 pm on 23rd February 2012.

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John Moloney: It is incredibly common. Every department has people on secondment to other departments, other public bodies or commercial organisations. Every department will have a transfer team whose sole job is to handle secondments. In other words, it is so regularised and routine that you must have dedicated people in each agency to do it, so in concept and practice, it would be easy to do.

Can I go back to safety versus security, because the PCS has a particular line on an interesting point that was made, which may be of interest? On the difference between safety and security, there is an implicit assumption that everyone wants to be safe. Although you find people who make mistakes, generally, people want to be safe and follow safety routines. The problem with security is that it is designed to stop people who literally want to do you harm. That is why you cannot superimpose one system on to another. One is based on the implicit assumption that people want to be safe and follow rules, whereas the other is based on an explicit assumption that people—well financed in some cases, certainly dedicated—want to do us harm.