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Railways Inspectorate (Chief Inspecting Officer Post)

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 10 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why the recently advertised post of chief inspecting officer at the Railways Inspectorate has been set at one grade lower than that of the current holder of the post.

When unified grading was introduced into the enlarged open structure of the Civil Service, the post of Chief Inspector of Railways was assigned to grade 4. Grade 4 posts are, however, usually responsible for the management of grade 5 officers. There are no such posts in the chief inspector's command. The present chief inspector retires next year and this represented an opportunity to consider the grading of his post. Since it does not involve the management of other senior staff, it was decided that it should formally be grade 5.

There is no intention, implied or otherwise, to diminish the post of the chief inspecting officer or the statutory responsibilities of the post. I am fully conscious of the need to appoint a candidate of the highest quality to carry out these important duties. The advertisement makes it clear, therefore, that a higher salary will be considered for a candidate with exceptional qualifications or experience.