Letter: The Civil Service and the changing nature of its mandarin class

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Garrett has too much faith in the immortality of the mandarins system ('Mandarins who live for ever', 15 June). There is a lot of evidence pointing in the opposite

direction.

Departments are currently looking at ways of evaluating the outputs of this 'small policy core' including the quality of its advice to ministers. Once such measures are in place Britain may follow the New Zealand route where the policy people are treated as a business unit which will have to compete with others from outside the public service for the work of advising its ministers.

The 'tiggers' being brought in from outside to take up senior posts within the Civil Service, mainly within the executive agencies, may also affect the career structures, expectations and composition of the policy core if, as seems highly likely, some of these 'tiggers' move on from their executive agencies to

take up posts within departmental headquarters.

Yours faithfully,

PATRICIA GREER

School of Social Sciences

University of Bath

Bath

15 June

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