FDA General Secretary Dave Penman was interviewed on BBC Parliament's 'The Week in Parliament' programme, discussing the Government's plans to give Ministers the power to personally appoint civil servants, special advisers and external policy experts to form Extended Ministerial Offices (EMOs). Interviewed alongside Peter Thomas from the Institute for Government, Penman said: "There always has been, and there always will be, a tension between elected Ministers and civil servants, and as Francis Maude has said himself, good Ministers want robust, timely, evidence-based challenge and advice. "We agree with a strengthening of the support for Ministers and the expansion of the ministerial office, but the danger is that the Government is introducing personal appointees by Ministers, and loyalty to a Minister and loyalty to the tax payer can be two very different things... Every time a Minister changes, with a reshuffle, or they’re sacked, that entire group at the top is going to have to change as well because they will all be personal appointees from the Minister. We think this will have a destabilising effect on the civil service over the longer term."See the full interview:
BBC Parliament - The Week in Parliament - 12 July 2013(12 minutes, 2 seconds into the programme)
11 July Penman was also interviewed on Channel 5's News Talk, alongside Matthew Sinclair from the Taxpayers' Alliance, debating the proposal to raise MPs' pay by independent body IPSA. Penman explained that, rather than condemning MPs' potential pay rise, the same logic should be applied across the civil service: "It's time that public sector pay, and that of MPs, stopped being a political football kicked about to generate headlines and started being a reasoned, fair and considered matter for an independent body to determine."The programme is currently unavailable online.
12 July Never mind fiscal policy, the Treasury is only interested in cutting civil servantsGuardian Public Leaders Network