Former Home Office permanent secretary Sir David Normington said that he was “absolutely amazed” that a top civil servant was permitted to work as a part-time adviser at Greensill Capital while still in Whitehall.
Asked about the Bill Crothers case, Sir David told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today: “Well actually, when I heard it, I thought it was absolutely baffling. I’ve never come across anything like it in my over 40 years in Whitehall.”
“I’m absolutely amazed that Bill Crothers should be allowed to work for Greensill while he was still in the civil service,” he added.
“We’re not just talking here about any old civil servant.”
“We’re talking about someone who was responsible for commercial dealings in government and had oversight of relations with a large number of major contractors and the handling of lots of public money.”
“But worse, I think, this enabled him to evade scrutiny of his appointment after he had left the civil service, and that is completely unacceptable.”
Normington said it is “essential” that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments scrutinises appointments of top civil servants when they leave Whitehall.
“It is essential that people like that, when they leave the civil service, are subject to scrutiny and are subject to rules which mean that they can’t take up appointments immediately.”
“It’s essential that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is allowed to scrutinise those appointments and give its advice,” he concluded.