Monday, 11 April 2011

How the Civil Service works - Perception v Reality

Eye is amused to hear news of Robert Devereux.

Regular followers of the railway scene will remember Devereux as the former Permanent Secretary at the DfT, before he was exiled to the Department of Work and Pensions.

According to Political Scrapbook...

In an email seen by Scrapbook, civil servants are told the department’s Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux has banned first class travel “irrespective of grade or journey length” and, for that matter, cost:

“A First Class ticket is cheaper than standard, why can I not book it?”

Such occasions are rare and generally arise if you are booking close to your departure date. Even if you are booking at least a week in advance and First Class is still cheaper, you are still required to purchase the standard ticket; it is a matter of public perception and overall, a First Class ban will save the department a significant amount.

Good to see “public perception” is actually more important than saving money.

Devereux, no doubt, learnt the importance of perception-over-reality whilst at DafT.

As Permanent Secretary, from 2007 to 2010, Devereux oversaw much of the
£27m 'invested' in Eye favourite, the InterCity Express Programme.

Sadly, despite the importance of public perception, this vast sum of taxpayers money has yet to result in an order being placed for a single passenger vehicle.

No matter.

Trebles all round and a gold plated Civil Service pension for yourself.