Only one permanent secretary was in their post at the time of the 2010 General Election. When new secretaries of state meet their permanent secretaries following the election, only one will meet a permanent secretary who was there for the transition in 2010: Sir Nicholas Macpherson at the Treasury. Additionally, Robert Devereux, now at DWP, was Permanent Secretary at DfT last time round. (We have excluded the territorial offices and devolved governments from this analysis.) The longevity of permanent secretaries in post was notable in 2010. Many had already been in post for well over the normal four-year presumption, persuaded to stay (in some case postponing retirement) by then Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell. In 2015, the least experienced permanent secretary, Melanie Dawes, has been in post for a couple of months. But the average tenure is similar now compared to 2010: On average, permanent secretaries greeting new ministers in 2015 will have been in post slightly longer – for 1289 days, compared to 1252 in 2010 However, if we take out the long-serving Macpherson (HMT), the average becomes 1146 days in 2015, shorter than the 1221 days in 2010 The median of all permanent secretaries in 2015 is also […]

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