HC Deb 22 July 1991 vol 195 cc751-2
37. Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants are currently seconded to private industry.

Mr. Renton

So far this year, some 250 civil servants have been on secondment to industry and commerce. In addition, 70 civil servants are currently serving as non-executive directors, and a further 50 have been selected for short-term attachments under this year's excellent programme organised by the Whitehall and Industry Group.

Mr. Marshall

I welcome those figures, because the cross-fertilisation of ideas generated by those trends can only be helpful. Does my right hon. Friend expect a further increase in years to come?

Mr. Renton

Yes, I am sure that that will happen. The trend has been significantly upwards. One good aspect is that many civil servants are attached to customer-oriented industries, where they establish the right mood for next steps agencies—which in many respects serve as a curtain raiser for the citizens charter, about which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister may shortly have a few words to say.