John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I strongly support the split of the two roles. They are both very big and very different jobs.
When the Government comes to appoint a new Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service would it pay special attention to the need to improve the accuracy, timeliness, relevance of data being used by Chief Executives and other senior managers throughout the Civil Service and the agencies and timely data to Ministers, so they can ask the right questions and provide the right supervision. I think there could be a lot of improvement in that area.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP): My Right Honourable Friend is absolutely right, and he was intimately involved in a program of Whitehall reform when he was Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit in the 1980’s as a very young man. The innovations that were brought in at that time under political appointees such as John Hoskyns and others helped to create the next steps agencies which were so vital in making sure there was greater accountability in the delivery of public services and we could do well to learn from some of the examples he set.