back to article Ex-HMRC boss gets shiny new civil service post

Paul Gray, the civil service boss who resigned because of the loss of the child benefit database, has got himself a nice little Whitehall contract. Gray will work on special projects for the Cabinet Office after less than two weeks' gardening leave. Gray quit as chairman of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on 20 November - he …

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Anonymous Coward

Contract

> "The job, like his contract, lasts until 31 December."

What sort of a resignation is that? If you resign you terminate your work contract. You don't just say "I've had enough of this position, give me a new one". Maybe I ought to try a resignation like that ... and see if I get a different IT place.

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Happy

Re: Contract

If I were to resign, I would be expected to work out my notice period. I, however, would probably work it out in my current job, having not (yet) been head of a department that made a complete and total balls-up putting the personal data of millions of people at risk, but that's just window dressing.

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Anonymous Coward

When will we learn...

... that the only way to punish long-serving public servants whose junior employees make a mistake is to flog them, confiscate their pensions and ban them from every government office in the land?

Because that's what happens in the private sector, right? Right?

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Resigned?

"since he was being paid anyway he may as well do some work"

Err....he resigned. Just what number are these civil servants on when they can exhibit gross incompetence, resign, keep their pay and then get offered another high-ranking job?

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Silver badge

Re:flog them

I'm right with you there. 40 lashes seems to not even begin to suffice, but historically speaking people have trouble surviving more, so I guess we'll have to cap it at that.

Can we have the ceremonies in stadiums ? With a gladiator fight after the flogging ? And some terrorists let loose with hungry lions after that ?

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Re: Contract

When you resign you are usually required to give notice, often 4 weeks - but can be as much as 6 months - your employer can, if they so desire, - tell you not to attend work during that period - but you are still employed by them and their other conditions (often referred to as gardening leave). This is the norm for very senior positions as they can do a lot of damage during that period if they want

I don't know whether any of his decisions were to blame for the data handling failures suffered by HMRC – he hadn't been in post that long. But what he did was take the responsibility and offered himself as a sacrifice – thus killing the baying for blood from the tabloids etc. before they could start and seeming to show far more political knowledge than any of his lord and masters

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Its called Planet Government Gravy Train

Why am I not in the least bit surprised? The whole point of Government and the civil "service" is to act as an old bum-chums network for morons with an old school tie but damn all between the ears.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: When will we learn...

Having experienced many years in both private and public sectors - no the private sector is no better than the public in employing bureaucrats and incompetence at all levels

And the most significant effect on the quality of your working life – your immediate boss

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Is anyone surprised by this?

Because I'm certainly not. This is typically the government's standard operating procedure; if it doesn't work keep it on but redeploy to new department (EDS anyone?).

This begs the question; how many departments can you shaft before changing tack or getting the culprit to change their name and hoping no-one will notice.

Andersen Consulting = Accenture

Mr Paul Gray = ?

I wonder whether the civil servant that will be formerly known as, Mr. Gray, is hoping that all the problems and his association with them will drift into the mists of time as everyone recovers from the Christmas break and he continues in his roll under a new contract, new name, and best of all, new identity (lucky bastard) in the New Year?

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Happy

Proposale for Gray's new job

"Gray will report to Sir Gus O'Donnell, cabinet secretary, and run "special projects to develop civil service skills"."

Right, what about data confidentiality as far as "civil service skills" are concerned ?

"They believe the discs are still somewhere in the system."

Ah, funny, this one, isn't it the one I've heard so many times: "The System can't do it. It is somewhere in the System, etc ...". Is always better than "I don't have a clue where it's gone !".

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Anonymous Coward

RE Is anyone surprised by this?

nope. not a jot.

if we could just actually get round to *doing* something about it...

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Just my 2d worth ...

but the fact that Gray seems to be the only one to have a) recognised that there is a problem, and b) owned up to having some responsibility means, IMHO, that he is the sort of person that we should be keeping. OK, it's reasonable that he shouldn't profit, and should more likely suffer some token personal loss, but here is someone who's exhibited both knowledge and ethics yet he is 'let go' !

The ones we REALLY should be after are the ones who are culpable but are trying to pass the blame onto others. These people, and I believe this goes right to the very top Gordon, have shown a lack of skills and a lack of ethics - both of which should be enough to have them booted out with prejudice.

But this is UK politics - rather get rid of the scapegoat than the people to blame !

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"Developing civil service skills"

Lovely piece of newspeak. It's supposed to imply that (presumably) senior civil servants are incompetent. But you'd have to be nu labour to the marrow to believe that a PPE or PPP from Oxford actually makes you less competent in administration than say a Cleansing Officer. Of course, in one way it does - it hones your bullshit detectors to be able to smell a stalinist all the way from Whitehall to Downing Street, and make you able to suggest alternative options and policies. And that is really what this is all about. HMG has too many toadies it would like to keep around. Meet the new PM - same as the old PM. Anyone now remember Birt of the BBC? Jobs for the boys - but only some of them.

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Flame

"they were monitoring the situation and had found no evidence of fraud"

Why is it that everytime that some organization loses loads of data that their standard response is: "We haven't found any evidence of fraud".

WTF does that mean?!?!

So er, where exactly have they been looking? Behind the sofa? In the cookie jar? Under the bed? Or down the local Russian Mafia hang-out?

What is far worse is the off-the-cuff manner they have toward their data-breaches. "Don't worry, no one (that we know of) has abused your data just yet, so please keep giving us your data, we will look after it".

I wonder how long before we have to pay less tax because each government department is making so much money out of selling our data to the Russian Mafia. Should be worth a decent tax-cut.

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