U.K. Energy Department Chief Quits Amid Policy Delays

Moira Wallace, the top official at the U.K.’s Department for Energy and Climate Change, said she plans to resign at the end of October.

Wallace, 50, will leave her position of permanent secretary and take a short sabbatical before beginning an unspecified job, the department said in a statement late yesterday.

The announcement comes three days after the department delayed a decision on renewable power subsidies after a clash with the Treasury over the magnitude of the reduction in support for onshore wind power. The government is in the process of changing its energy market to drive spending on new nuclear power plants, wind farms and electricity networks.

The department said in an e-mail that it’s “absolutely not the case” that Wallace was forced out, and that she was staying until October to ensure an “orderly transition.”

“Four years is generally considered the norm for a Permanent Secretary, and now is a suitable time for both the department and Moira’s own career for her to move on,” the department said.

Wallace was appointed permanent secretary to DECC in November 2008. Prior to this, she held positions in the U.K. Treasury and was Private Secretary to prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair from 1995 to 1997.

She is one of nine women among 38 civil servants holding the rank of permanent secretary or second permanent secretary, according to the Civil Service website. The rank marks the most senior official in a government department.

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