A watchdog has warned that a former mandarin might have been unfairly advantaged in his job as an advisor to private companies.

  • Julian Critchlow may have an ‘unfair advantage’ in his new job with Bain & Co
  • His duties as a civil servant included being the mandarin for the UK’s net zero strategy
  • In his new role, Critchlow will be advising major corporations on this topic
  • Bain was limited to the topics Mr Critchlow could advise by a watchdog

The former mandarin in charge of the UK’s net zero strategy may have an ‘unfair advantage’ in his new private job advising major companies on the topic, a watchdog has warned.

It ordered Julian Critchlow to wait six months between leaving the civil service and starting as a senior adviser with consultancy Bain & Co.

The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments made the ruling. This committee monitors the revolving Door between Whitehall/Big Business.

Julian Critchlow left BEIS seven months ago and will be moving on to a new role as a senior adviser with consultancy Bain & Co

Julian Critchlow left BEIS seven months ago and will be moving on to a new role as a senior adviser with consultancy Bain & Co 

The agreement has established conditions that will govern his role. For example, he cannot advise on certain subjects.

The committee warned: ‘He seeks to advise Bain on the matters he had responsibility for in office.

‘There is a risk his access to information while in government could offer an unfair advantage to Bain.’

Before joining the business team in 2018, Mr Critchlow worked for Bain for 30 years.

He left, but he applied to the committee in March to be reunited with his employer.

Acoba said it did not believe he was offered the job because of what he had learned in Whitehall but went on: ‘There remains a risk in relation to his access to information.’

It said his former department is still developing a number of projects and so ‘the Committee felt it was necessary to limit Mr Critchlow’s role with Bain to prevent him from advising on his policy involvement on specific matters, to avoid the risk he would offer unfair insight into policy development at BEIS’.

The watchdog ruled Mr Critchlow is not allowed to offer advice on heat and buildings strategy, international energy or developing an emissions trading system until next year

The watchdog determined that Critchlow cannot offer any advice regarding heat and building strategy, international energy, or creating an emissions trading platform. He will have to wait until next year.

However, he isn’t allowed to give advice about heat and building strategy, international energy, or the development of an emissions trading scheme until next year.

Acoba also ‘thought it was necessary to put a significant gap between Mr Critchlow’s access to information and his joining Bain’, making him wait for six months after his last day in ‘Crown service’ to start his new job. In October, he started there.

He was also told that he had to follow the rules of all civil servants who are moving into the private sector. This includes a prohibition on lobbying ex-colleagues or Ministers.

The letter also reveals that Mr Critchlow had previously been ‘responsible for a contract between BEIS and Bain’.

But this was said to be just ‘for one week’s pro bono work; and there is no other commercial relationship between Bain and BEIS’.

A BEIS spokesman said last night: ‘Mr Critchlow left the Department seven months ago. The Committee’s recommendations have been, and will continue to be, followed.’

Bain added: ‘We are happy to confirm that we have made the appropriate arrangements to ensure that the restrictions, conditions and limitations placed upon Julian Critchlow by Acoba as a condition of his re-employment by Bain are adhered to.’