Magazine article Public Finance

O'Donnell to Take Top Civil Service Post

Magazine article Public Finance

O'Donnell to Take Top Civil Service Post

Article excerpt

Prime Minister Tony Blair this week confirmed Sir Gus O'Donnell as the new Cabinet secretary, ending speculation that the job would be offered to a surprise candidate.

The Cabinet Office confirmed on June 15 that O'Donnell, currently permanent secretary at the Treasury, would succeed the retiring Sir Andrew Turnbull as head of the civil service in August.

Whitehall sources told Public Finance that Blair delayed the decision to appoint O'Donnell while he considered alternatives, including permanent secretaries Sir Nigel Crisp at the Department of Health and Sir David Normington at the Department for Education and Skills.

O'Donnell enjoys a strong relationship with Chancellor Gordon Brown - who pushed for his appointment - and is widely respected across the high-grade civil service.

Blair said O'Donnell possessed a 'distinguished record' of achievement within government, having 'driven through real change and shown strong leadership at the Treasury'. …

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