Andrew Turnbull

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Lord (Andrew) Turnbull is a former UK cabinet secretary and former head of the Home Civil Service (2002-2005). He is now an adviser to various private organisations, and a trustee of the controversial Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank.
Lord Turnbull

Civil service career

Turnbull was cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service from 2002 to 2005. He joined the Treasury as an economist in 1970, served at the IMF and in Downing Street, and became permanent secretary at the Department of Environment in 1994. From 1998 until 2002, he was permanent secretary to the Treasury.

Consultancy career after 2006

Frontier Economics

In July 2006 Turnbull was appointed a director with Frontier Economics, which advises private sector clients on public sector reform. Its chairman, Baroness Sarah Hogg, said Frontier was delighted with the appointment.

Under the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments by Crown servants, Turnbull applied for permission to take up the appointment. The Prime Minister, on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, approved the application subject to the automatic 3 months waiting period applicable at his level and the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or officials on behalf of the firm or its clients'.[1] [2] Presumably, after 12 months he was able to lobby known contacts in the British Government at ministerial and official levels.

In his farewell speech from the civil service Turnbull openly pointed out how the civil service, after an apparent tradition of being introverted had now adopted a far more open approach. He stated

'The civil service has historically been more focused on policy and administration than delivery, particularly for those services that are delivered through others such as education, health and law and order; The structure has been hierarchal and inflexible and cross departmental working has been difficult; The reward system was based on slow maturing careers with long pay scales and final salary pensions; It has changed, but not rapidly enough; For too long the civil service was a closed world, limiting its ability to attract talent and the outside world's understanding of it; It has been too reliant on the skills of those recruited many years earlier, leaving it underpowered when requirements changed; It has drawn on too narrow a slice of the nation's talent; Little priority was given to developing leadership; It has been slow to take full advantage of outsourcing and to equip itself to manage large projects Incentives to improve efficiency were weak, both for the organisation or for individuals.
So what have I and my colleagues been doing to respond to the concerns expressed?
We no longer claim a monopoly over policy advice. Indeed we welcome the fact that we are much more open to ideas from thinktanks, consultancies, governments abroad, special advisers, and frontline practitioners. In developing policy we not only consult more widely than we used to but involve outsiders to a far greater degree in the policy making process, eg the extensive use of outside reviewers - Turner, Eddington, Sandler, Higgs, etc. The teams which the strategy unit puts together are highly multi disciplinary'. [3]

Of course Mr Turnbull does not make clear who in particular these groups external to government are. Do they for instance seek a wide a plurality of viewpoints and interests? Or, does this new found openness and welcoming of external advice only include those with particular interests? A clue to this question is actually given by Frontier Economics when they wrote the report on FOI, for which it consulted 'FOI practitioners and stakeholders across central government and the wider public sector - but not a single FOI campaigner, journalist or member of the public. It was always going to produce what the government wanted'. [4]

Affiliations

Directorships include:

  • Non-executive director at British Land, April 2006. Approved by ACOBA, "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Ministers or officials on behalf of British Land".[5] Is now senior independent director of British Land since 14 January 2013.[6]
  • Non-executive director at Prudential since May 2006. Approved by ACOBA, "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Ministers or officials on behalf of Prudential".[5]
  • Non-executive director at Frontier Economics Ltd., since November 2005.[6]
  • Chairman of BH Global, an investment management company.
  • Trustee, Global Warming Policy Foundation
  • Chairman, Dulwich College Governors
  • Chairman, Zambia Orphans of Aids, UK
  • Booz Allen & Hamilton - declared role as senior adviser (non-parliamentary consultant) in 2007. Also recorded that "Booz Allen & Hamilton UK provides some secretarial assistance in connection with my parliamentary duties". [7]
  • Non-executive Director Arup Group Ltd, April 2006 to 2007. Approved by ACOBA, "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK

Ministers or officials on behalf of Arup or its clients"[5][6]

References

  1. Adams and Lord Turnbull join Frontier Economics Board, 25 November 2011, acc 8 Jan 2011
  2. Sarah Hogg welcoming Sir Andrew Turnbull into the fold at Frontier EconomicsLink broken, not in company archive.
  3. Andrew Turnbull's speech The outgoing cabinet secretary's valedictory lecture before handing over to Sir Gus O'Donnell, Guardian, 27 July 2005
  4. Freedom of Information, Private Eye, no 1170, p11, 27October-9th November 2006
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 4 November 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Andrew Turnbull Bloomberg Businesweek, accessed 4 November 2014
  7. Register of Lords' Interests as Amended to show position on 16 July 2007