Leading article: Situation vacant... a guard for the guardians


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The Independent Online

While most private businesses and the lower echelons of the public sector are being required to tighten their belts – many notches in most cases – quite the opposite trend can be observed at the top of certain parts of the public sector, where multiplication rather than division seems to be the order of the day.

It has been known for a while that the job of the top civil servant, Sir Gus O'Donnell, is to be split into three when he leaves. Now we learn that HM Revenue and Customs, the behemoth formed by uniting two separate departments six years ago, is to acquire two new supervisory posts. This is an apparent response to disquiet over special tax deals reportedly negotiated between the head of HMRC and big commercial concerns, including Goldman Sachs and Vodafone. A judge is also to be appointed. The old question – Who guards the guardians? – seems to have a new answer in the shape of some rather tasty job-creation schemes.