Industry calls for changes to civil service code

Senior PR industry figures have called for the civil service management code to be revised to include special advisers such as Tim Allan, who has announced his move from the Prime Minister’s press office to director of corporate communications at BSkyB.

Senior PR industry figures have called for the civil service

management code to be revised to include special advisers such as Tim

Allan, who has announced his move from the Prime Minister’s press office

to director of corporate communications at BSkyB.



Under the current code, Allan is too junior to have to refer his

appointment to a Whitehall vetting committee which has the power to

enforce a waiting period of up to three years before Government staff

take jobs in the private sector.



Simon Nayyar, chairman of the PRCA public affairs committee, said: ’When

a person goes from having insight with key players into a job like this,

given the concerns with cross-media ownership and Rupert Murdoch’s

relationship with Tony Blair, I think it may well be time that the code

is overhauled.’



Allan would only have had to refer his new job if he: received an

equivalent salary to grade 3 civil servants (over pounds 52,400); had

official dealings with BSkyB; had access to sensitive information about

BSkyB’s rivals; had been involved in policies benefiting BSkyB for which

the job offer could be interpreted as a reward, or had knowledge of

policies beneficial to BSkyB.



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