Wendy Barnes

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Wendy Barnes was Interim Chief Operating Officer for the UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change until 31 December 2012, with responsibility for corporate services and nuclear decommissioning and security policy.

She now holds several part-­time paid non-­executive director roles. These include the Met Office and BMT Group Ltd (BMT), a leading engineering, science and technology consultancy, operating mainly in the maritime industries. Barnes took up her roles with the Met Office in May 2013 and with BMT in July 2013. [1]

Barnes is also a non-executive member of the main Board of OFWAT, the economic regulator of the water industry in England and Wales and a non-executive Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services (FCOS).

Earlier in her career Barnes spent over a decade working for BNFL.


According to her biography:

Wendy has held several executive positions in her 24 year experience in the nuclear and water industries. Starting as a professional statistician, Wendy then moved in to the area of Customer Service, Marketing and Business Development. She was also responsible for leading several large change programmes. Since leaving corporate life in 2003 Wendy has held several non-executive director positions in government security and defence departments, including FCO Services, a trading fund of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Wendy is also an executive coach and mentor and is involved with the management team at Chester Cathedral. [2]
Wendy was also previously a member of the main Board of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation (DE&S) and a Non-executive Director of two Government security departments. Prior to this, Wendy spent 11 years with United Utilities and previously ten years with British Nuclear Fuels in a wide range of roles including customer service, marketing and business development. [3]

Post civil service career

The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments advised that the Prime Minister should approve Barnes' application for directorships with the Met and BMT, noting that:

the Committee took into account the fact that the role may involve dealings with Ms Barnes’s former Department. However, the Committee also noted that Ms Barnes had had no official dealings with the Met Office and had not been involved in decisions affecting them.[4]


the Committee took into the account the fact that the appointment was likely to include contact with Ms Barnes’s former Government, as BMT works with the MOD in defence maritime.

Barnes had 'not had any direct official or contractual dealings with BMT, and had 'not been responsible for people who have had contractual dealings with her prospective employer during her last two years of service'. Nor has she had 'access to any commercially sensitive information about any competitors and has not been involved in the development or administration of any policy or decisions that could have affected her prospective employer or its competitors'.

As part of Ms Barnes’s role, she will draw on her experience of defence to help develop the board at a strategic level. She will not, however, have any involvement in the executive decisions and delivery.

Approval was subject to the conditions that:

  • [Barnes] should not draw on privileged information available to her from her time in Crown service; and
  • for two years from her last day of service, Ms Barnes should not become personally involved in lobbying the UK Government on behalf of her new employer or its clients. [5]



  1. Appointments taken up by former Crown servants, Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, last updated 2 October 2013, accessed 8 October 2013
  2. Wendy Barnes, DECC website, undated, accessed 10 September 2012
  3. Wendy Barnes Joins BMT Group Board, BMT Group, accessed 9 October 2013
  4. [Appointments taken up by former Crown servants], Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, last updated 2 October 2013, accessed 8 October 2013
  5. Business Appointments Application: Wendy Barnes, Letter from ACOBA to HR Director, DECC, 14 May 2013, accessed 9 October 2013