LETTER:Safeguarding Whitehall code

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The Independent Online
Sir: When one of my most illustrious predecessors, Dennis Trevelyan, states (Letters, 6 March) that "it was felt necessary for the Queen and not, let it be noted, the government of the day to appoint the First Civil Service Commissioner ...", he implies that there has been a change in this respect. I feel I should make it clear that I, too, was appointed by the Queen in Council but, unlike my predecessors, after an open competition.

In addition, since I am not a civil servant with a career to pursue, I am free to assert my independence from the government of the day even more forcefully than they did. And I shall, should this ever prove necessary.

In the meantime I merely wish to add that it is the role of the Civil Service Commissioners, not the Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency, to ensure that the Civil Service Recruitment Code is followed by all Departments.

Sir Michael Bett

First Civil Service Commissioner

Office of the Civil

Service Commissioners

London SW1