Girlie as new 2nd PUS

#1
The Ministry of Defence has announced today, Wednesday 2 July 2008, that Ursula Brennan has been selected to be the next Second Permanent Secretary, succeeding Ian Andrews. She will take up her appointment in the autumn.

Ursula is currently Director General Corporate Performance at the Ministry of Justice, where she has been responsible for finance, human resources, IT, change management, strategy, planning and analysis. Prior to that, she has undertaken a range of senior appointments at the Departments for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Work and Pensions and Social Security. Together with the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, the Second Permanent Secretary acts as joint Chief Operating Officer for Defence, ensuring that strategic decisions are implemented and managing performance across the board.

The post-holder reports to the Permanent Secretary, chairs the Defence Environment and Safety Board and is a member of the Defence Council and its Service Boards, the Defence Ministerial Committee, the Service Executive Committees and the Investment Approvals Board.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Second Permanent Secretary is responsible for defining and delivering requirements for corporate support services and is the Top Level Budget holder for the Central TLB (Top Level Budget). Top Level Budgets are the largest organisational units within the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces. Examples include the three Single Services, Defence Equipment and Support and Defence Estates. The Central TLB covers the MOD Head Office, the Defence Intelligence Staff and corporate services such as civilian personnel.

Permanent Secretary Bill Jeffrey said:


"I am delighted that Ursula will be joining the Department. She will bring an exceptionally strong combination of policy development, change management and operational delivery experience to the role, and, as a member of the Defence Board and joint Chief Operating Officer, will play a key part in helping the Department address the challenges we face."


This appointment was approved by the Prime Minister following a cross-Whitehall competition. The date of appointment will be announced in due course.

(my bold)

Thoughts?
 
#2
My thoughts? Looking over her CV: Oh, fcuk.

She's been involved in those Departments responsible for the biggest of the many cockups of the last two Governments. And she's coming to Defence. Oh, well. Just as well things are quiet on that front now, eh?
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#3
Well it is good to see that she brings with her such extensive experience in Defence and Overseas Security issues.......... :evil:
 
#4
Crusty(LE) said:
Intelligence Staff and corporate services such as civilian personnel.
Permanent Secretary Bill Jeffrey said:

"I am delighted that Ursula will be joining the Department. She will bring an exceptionally strong combination of policy development, change management and operational delivery experience to the role, and, as a member of the Defence Board and joint Chief Operating Officer, will play a key part in helping the Department address the challenges we face."
My bold, is there anyomne in the govement that has any Intelligence. Also any member with operational delivery experience (i.e been deployed anywhere with the forces or served in the forces, oh no silly me there is'nt any!

Stilts
 
#5
The current 2nd PUS spent many years in the TA, including some full time service. While its an interesting appointment choice, if you look at what the 2nd PUS does - which is mainly to do with the CS side of life, its a fairly logical one - she understands the broader range of civilian employment issues that will be impacting on her day job - Its as logical as making an Infanteer to be Director Infantry.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
I cannot agree with Jim30 on this one - the appointment of another senior CS (following on form PUS) who has minimal experience of the MoD or Military is an indication of how the Department is looked at by the rest of Westminster - and by this Government particularly. The MoD spends money without buying loyalty or votes, only generates bad news for the Government, and is generally full of trouble-making Soldiery (and Civil Servants). The sooner it is brought into line with other Govt Depts the better, seems to be the message.

There are several other senior CS changes coming up shortly - it'll be interesting to see how many of these go to people with an MoD track record.
 
#7
Very nicely put Jim.

However looking at her CV, and some of the Departments she's been involved in, I'd say she was brought in for her specialist skillset.

Axe Queen.
 
#8
Snowy - its Govt policy to advertise all SCS posts pan Govt to get widest range of talent applying. You'll see a lot more of these posts in future being filled by best people for the job. FCO is the one to watch - you'll start to see ambassadors coming from some very strange places indeed. This isn't a snub to the MOD but a CS wide policy.
 
#9
jim30 said:
The current 2nd PUS spent many years in the TA, including some full time service. While its an interesting appointment choice, if you look at what the 2nd PUS does - which is mainly to do with the CS side of life, its a fairly logical one - she understands the broader range of civilian employment issues that will be impacting on her day job - Its as logical as making an Infanteer to be Director Infantry.
Her past jobs v departmental results:

Job: Ursula Brennan joined the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) as Chief Executive in May 2006

Results: A totally****ed up criminal justice system that has delivered: a shortage of prison places; a dysfunctional probation system; replica bobbies; ineffective ASBOs; an increase in criminal activity; third-rate lawyers into the CPS; and a whole raft of terrorist suspects released into the community.

Job: Director General, Living, Land and Seas, at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Her responsibilities included leading work on policy and strategy for rural disadvantage, protection of wildlife and the countryside and marine and fisheries business.

Results: The annihalation of our fishing industry; outbreaks of foot and mouth from govt laboratories; increasing rural poverty; continued buy-in to the failed CAP.

Job: Ursula started her working life at the Greater London Council, but spent most of her career on what became the Department for Work and Pensions. At DWP she worked on a range of policies, but also in IT and delivery agencies and on programme management.

Results: A pensions system in deficit and chaos; the loss of countless records through staff incompetence; the failure to deliver a coherent, understandable benefits system.

Education: English and American Literature at University of Kent, Canterbury - not exactly top draw.

And she's the best the Civil Service can offer after open competition - you'll be telling me next that DE & S savings targets have been met.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#10
jim30 said:
While its an interesting appointment choice, if you look at what the 2nd PUS does - which is mainly to do with the CS side of life, its a fairly logical one - she understands the broader range of civilian employment issues that will be impacting on her day job
I beg to differ. 2nd PUS runs the Defence Programme i.e. balance of investment decisions on Defence Spending on behalf of the Defence Board. She will also be a member of that Board, which, inter alia, has responsibility for defence policy and strategy, major investment decisions, resource planning and prioritisation.
 
#12
jim,

Following the your comment regarding to Pan Government recruiting - this really does strike the "is this the best candidate?" note well and truly.

Is the PUS a fixed term anyone? Or, yet another rung on the Whitehall Merry-Go-Round?
 
#13
Its not a case of whether its the best candidate - she was appointed as the best candidate of those who applied. 2PUS is a strange one- the current ones been around for almost 6 years - they tend to last longer than the PUS and other heads - don't know why though.

As for the idea that MODs been populated by outsiders - we do it too - you might be surprised at howq many MOD people (both civ and mil) lurk in OGDs - large swathes of the Cabinet Office are outposts of the MOD.
 
#14
jim30 said:
Its not a case of whether its the best candidate - she was appointed as the best candidate of those who applied.
Incidentally, this appointment comes remarkably close to the announcement on positive discrimination.
 
#16
Prodigal said:
Quick chaps, tin foil hats on, those pesky women with no brains or experience are stealing our jobs again.
Yep, there are some paranoid people out there. Buggers one and all.
 
#17
jim30 said:
Snowy - its Govt policy to advertise all SCS posts pan Govt to get widest range of talent applying. You'll see a lot more of these posts in future being filled by best people for the job. FCO is the one to watch - you'll start to see ambassadors coming from some very strange places indeed. This isn't a snub to the MOD but a CS wide policy.
Actually, it rather sounds as though they've decided to stop discriminating for experience, training and aptitude, on the grounds that these qualities are elitist and therefore counter to the core New Labour philosophy of 'lowest common denominator'. I'm sure there's a pattern there somewhere...

Roll on the next General Election, and hopefully a clearing out of dead wood.
 
#19
jim30 said:
As for the idea that MODs been populated by outsiders - we do it too - you might be surprised at howq many MOD people (both civ and mil) lurk in OGDs - large swathes of the Cabinet Office are outposts of the MOD.
My bold. How many military posts are there in other non MoD Departments then? Don't see many soldiers behind the counters at the local benefits office!
 
#20
Crusty - from my own experience, there are plenty at the FCO - both in the UK and overseas. Cabinet Office have lots as well for various areas. DFID have several posts too, which are increasing in success. There are also posts in UKTI, and some in the NHS. There are wider exchange appointments too for MOD CS who can apply for any whitehall or wider job on an exchange programme - its now expected that CS who want advancement should have done an OGD tour.
 
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