FDA welcomes new rules on appointments of civil service heads of department

15 October 2014
(For immediate release)

The Civil Service Commission has today announced that the Prime Minister will be given a choice of candidates for head of department appointments, which will be assessed by an independent panel chaired by the First Civil Service Commissioner.

In response, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said: “We broadly welcome today’s announcement, balancing the argument for greater Ministerial involvement in selecting heads of department with the fundamental principle of selection on merit.

"Political impartiality is the cornerstone of a permanent civil service but it does not mean - and has never meant - that there can be no Ministerial involvement in the process of selection.

“The changes announced today ensure transparency in the selection process and reflect a broad political consensus.

"We also welcome the assurances given by the Prime Minister and the Official Opposition that they have no wish to politicise the civil service.”

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 19,000 senior civil servants, Government policy advisors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, prosecutors and other professionals work across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA can be described as "the senior public servants' union" and should be referred to simply as "The FDA".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

4. For further information contact:

  • Dave Penman, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.