At least 13 highly paid bureaucrats had second jobs during time at Whitehall

Hayley Dixon
·10-min read
Sir Stephen Lovegrove, 54, centre, joined the civil service in 2007 after working as an investment banker for nearly 10 years. He had a leading role in organising the 2012 London Olympics before becoming the head of the Department of Energy and Climate in 2013. He became the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence just three years later, earning a salary of £190,000 a year.
Sir Stephen Lovegrove, 54, centre, joined the civil service in 2007 after working as an investment banker for nearly 10 years. He had a leading role in organising the 2012 London Olympics before becoming the head of the Department of Energy and Climate in 2013. He became the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence just three years later, earning a salary of £190,000 a year.

At least 13 of the highest paid mandarins and bureaucrats have held second roles during their time in Whitehall, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.

Among them is Jonson Cox, the head of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) who holds non-executive roles at two energy companies, and Sir Stephen Lovegrove, the UK’s National Security Adviser, who is a non-executive director at a property company.

The revelations comes just days after Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, ordered all civil servants to reveal their second jobs in the wake of the Greensill lobbying scandal.

There is no suggestion that the officials identified by The Telegraph broke any rules, but the extent of the crossover has led to MPs calling for a crackdown on those in the upper echelons of the public sector holding dual roles.

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the findings were “shocking” as he called for senior civil servants to be “banned” from working in the private sector.

Analysis of the last five years of government transparency data on “high earners” which lists “senior civil servants and senior officials in departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies earning £150,000 and above” shows that the issues stretch across a number of Whitehall departments.

Both civil servants and public officials go through stringent recruitment processes and are subject to regular conflict of interest tests, the Cabinet Office has insisted.

A spokesman added that not all roles identified are full time.

Mr Cox, who works three days a week on a salary of around £125,000, went through a public appointment process when he took over as chair of Ofwat in 2012 and has declared interests in a number of other companies.

In 2013, the public official became a senior adviser to I Squared Capital Partners, a private equity firm focusing on global infrastructure investments, and in 2017 he became a non-executive director of Energia Group NI Holdings Limited. In August last year took on a second role as director of Ovo Energy.

Jonson Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Anglian Water Group, speaks at the "Environmental futures 08 - Creating the climate for change", the Environment Agency annual conference in the QEII, central London, 24 November 2008. The event highlights dilemmas, offer ideas and discuss possible solutions in aspects related with the protection of our environment. Economic growth, ease of travel, the production of food and energy are some of the factors that put pressure on our environment and force us to make choices about the best way forward. Ref: UFT_125141_0013 Date: 24.11.2008 COMPULSORY CREDIT: UPPA/Photoshot,Image: 559851222, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WORLD RIGHTS - Fee Payable Upon Reproduction - For queries call Photoshot + 44 (0)20 7421 6000 New York Office Tel : + 1 646-429-8731 Hamburg Office Tel +49 40 28 78030, Model Release: no, Credit line: Felipe Trueba / Avalon - News Scans
Jonson Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Anglian Water Group, speaks at the "Environmental futures 08 - Creating the climate for change", the Environment Agency annual conference in the QEII, central London, 24 November 2008. The event highlights dilemmas, offer ideas and discuss possible solutions in aspects related with the protection of our environment. Economic growth, ease of travel, the production of food and energy are some of the factors that put pressure on our environment and force us to make choices about the best way forward. Ref: UFT_125141_0013 Date: 24.11.2008 COMPULSORY CREDIT: UPPA/Photoshot,Image: 559851222, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WORLD RIGHTS - Fee Payable Upon Reproduction - For queries call Photoshot + 44 (0)20 7421 6000 New York Office Tel : + 1 646-429-8731 Hamburg Office Tel +49 40 28 78030, Model Release: no, Credit line: Felipe Trueba / Avalon - News Scans

A spokesman acknowledged that he receives a fee for all three roles. He has remained a director at Stonebrook Associates, which he said was essentially a dormant company.

Mr Cox also admits that since 2010 he has owned a less than 0.25 per cent stake in Syrinix, which develops water pipeline monitoring technology and works with some of the largest water utilities around the world. Last year, the company had net assets of more than £2.2 million.

A spokesman for Ofwat said that all appointments had been subject “to rigorous conflict of interest checks and were approved by the permanent secretary for DEFRA”.

Sir Stephen Lovegrove, 54, who has just left his £190,000-a-year post as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence to take over as the National Security Adviser also currently holds two directorships within the Grosvenor Group, an international property investment company.

Sir Stephen was appointed as a non-executive director of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland Board in February 2016, when he was then Permanent Secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In January 2020, he took on a second role at a separate company within the group owned by the Duke of Westminster when he was appointed director of Grosvenor UK Finance, Companies House records show.

All the money he receives from the private sector work he gives to charity, sources said.

Another civil servant reporting to the Cabinet Office is Corinne Lagarde who was employed on a fixed-term contract as a “supply chain and procurement consultant” from May 2019 to September 2020 on a salary of around £150,000.

Corinne Lagarde, who has now left her government role, was employed as a “supply chain and procurement consultant” with the Cabinet Office from May 2019 to September 2020. She had previously spent time in the pharmaceutical industry, with stints at German company Mundipharma in addition to 14 years of procurement work at Glaxo-SmithKline
Corinne Lagarde, who has now left her government role, was employed as a “supply chain and procurement consultant” with the Cabinet Office from May 2019 to September 2020. She had previously spent time in the pharmaceutical industry, with stints at German company Mundipharma in addition to 14 years of procurement work at Glaxo-SmithKline

She left the role in September to take on a contract with NHS Test and Trace, which came to an end this month.

Meanwhile, she has remained a director of Rodoka, an IT consultancy firm she was appointed to in April 2019, a month before she took on her first senior civil service role. Ms Lagarde did not carry out any work with Rodoka whilst employed with the Cabinet Office, a spokesman said.

Rajiv Kalia has been responsible for the rollout of superfast broadband as CEO of the Building Digital UK (BDUK) team within DCMS since January 2018 earning up to £149,999.

He remained a director of IT company YouCloud Solutions, which he co-founded, until June 2020.

Rajiv Kalia, 53, has been the chief executive of Broadband Delivery UK – an initiative by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to facilitate “the delivery of better broadband” – since 2018. He spent a total of 10 years in business roles at TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse earlier in his career.
Rajiv Kalia, 53, has been the chief executive of Broadband Delivery UK – an initiative by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to facilitate “the delivery of better broadband” – since 2018. He spent a total of 10 years in business roles at TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse earlier in his career.

Dr Nandini Shetty, who earns around £170,000 a year in her role as the head of bacteriology reference department at Public Health England, is also the director of her own consultancy firm.

A spokesman from Public Health England said Ms Shetty provides medical legal services "in her spare time" over "evenings and weekends" and said it was "entirely legitimate" with all work carried out appropriately declared through declarations of interests.

Nandini Shetty, 64, is head of bacteriology at Public Health England, having worked with the quango in various medical roles since 1993. She started her medical training in India before completing it in England, and is also a deputy director of a World Health Organisation scheme in Geneva, focusing on infections
Nandini Shetty, 64, is head of bacteriology at Public Health England, having worked with the quango in various medical roles since 1993. She started her medical training in India before completing it in England, and is also a deputy director of a World Health Organisation scheme in Geneva, focusing on infections

Stephen Visscher was the responsible for international strategy at the UK’s Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBRC) in his role as deputy chief executive between 2015 and 2018.

At the same time he was a board director of The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) in Canada, a public-private partnership described as “a key player in Canada’s agtech sector”.

He was earning £80,000 a year, and also had a responsibility allowance “which pushed the salary over the £150,000” at the BBRC, a non-departmental public body, which predominantly funds scientific research institutes.

When he left in November 2018 he took on a role as executive director and chief executive officer of GIFS, a partnership between a Canadian fertilizer company, Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

In 2017, Stuart Powls was earning £175,000 as head of rail systems & RW procurement for HS2, a non-departmental public body, whilst acting as director of Sutton Commercial Management.

He said that his own company was “99 per cent dormant when I was working full time for HS2”.

Also at HS2 is Lorna Pimlott, who has been director of sponsorship & policy since April 2017 on a salary of £170,000 and is a current of Pimlott Consulting, a role she has held since 2013.

She said she had declared her role and since 2017 had not been an operating director, taking “minimal” dividends and “helping with admin only”.

Lesley Titcomb was earning more than £200,000 a year for her role as chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, a position she held from 2015 to 2019, during which time she took on a job as a non-executive director of the National Bank of Kuwait International.

Rachel Gardner Poole, the director of organisation design and development at the UK Space Agency makes it on to the highest paid list of bureaucrats on a wage of around £155,000.

She has previously held a number of roles within the Civil Aviation Authority, and arm’s length body which reports to the Department of Transport, and between 2012 and 2014 she was the a programme manager at the Home Office.

The same year she took her Home Office role she became a director of Raygard Consulting, a position that was not dissolved until May 2019.

Her colleague Stephen Hillier, the chair of the CAA, was appointed in August last year on a salary of around £110,000, just months after he had set up Victor James Consultancy, which is still active on Companies House.

Juan Villamil was earning £150,000 a year in his role as chief technology officer for the Department for Work and Pensions, when he left in February 2020.

But during his five-year stint at the department, where he led the development and implementation of the IT Infrastructure, he was also a director of Komtento alongside his wife Amparo until it was struck off in 2019.

Mr Villamil, who now works for Imperial College, said that he had gone through all vetting procedures and his IT consultancy firm did not take on any new clients after he took on his role at the DWP.

Another high-flying public official on the high earners list is Wanda Goldwag, the part-time chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service on £634 a day, four days a month, who previously acted as one of six Civil Service Commissioners.

At the same time she was overseeing appointments to the Civil Service she was also non-executive chair of HR company True North Human Capital. Since 2000 she has also been an adviser to private equity firm Smedvig Capital and is a director of Goldwag Consultancy.

The Telegraph attempted to approach all those involved for comment.

 William Wragg, Tory MP for Hazel Grove and chairman of the Public administration and constitutional affairs committee - News Scans
William Wragg, Tory MP for Hazel Grove and chairman of the Public administration and constitutional affairs committee - News Scans

William Wragg MP, chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is due to take evidence on the subject from Simon Case on Monday, said: “These revelations highlight the urgent need to have full disclosure of remunerated positions of senior civil servants and officials.

“Stricter rules are needed so that any conflicts of interest can be identified, and appropriate action can be taken.

“We also need the system to be tightened so that people can have the confidence to operate knowing that they are following the appropriate framework.”

Sir Alistair added: “I am shocked that people in such crucial positions have been allowed to take major jobs in the private sector, particularly as they are all reasonably well paid.

“My simple view would be that if someone applies for these senior roles then they should be told that they will not be allowed to take additional jobs in the private sector.”

He said that even those who take on an unpaid role risked criticism that they were “preparing the ground for a well-paid job when they leave office”.

A Government spokesperson said: “Processes are in place for civil servants, contractors and board members of central government departments and public bodies to declare and manage perceived or potential conflicts of interest.

“For senior Civil Servants, this is required by the Civil Service Management Code.

“The Cabinet Secretary wrote to all Permanent Secretaries last week asking them to re-check departmental procedures for their own, internal reassurance.

“This will be made available for the Boardman review to draw on and be made public.”