http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...exeter-norwich has caused some excitement in the Westminster Village because it's not often that civil servants ask for ministerial directions to do stuff that they have extreme reservations about.
It's a difficult one to resolve. Parliament holds permanent secretaries to account for delivering value for money, but ministers are the ones who decide on policy. What happens when a policy that ministers from a democratically elected political party decide upon happens, in the opinion of civil servants (who will be held accountable by Parliament via the Public Accounts Committee) to be bad value for money? You get a disagreement likey so.
In such a situation, who would you go with?
The Permanent Secretary?