Many senior civil servants’ salaries have been made public as part of a plan to open up government data to the public.
NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson’s salary of up to £259,999 – one of the salaries made public – is almost double that of the Prime Minister David Cameron, who earns £142,500.
The publication also shows that Dr Kevin Woods, director general, health and chief executive of NHS Scotland and director general at the Scottish Government earns up to £164,999, while Joe Harley, the IT director general and chief information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, gets up to £249,999.
Mr Cameron has sent a letter to all government departments, setting out his plans to open up data and set deadlines to public bodies for the publication of information on topics including hospital infections, crime and government spending.
The Cabinet Office has, accordingly, published the salaries of more than 170 of the highest-earning senior civil servants on its website.
The name, job title, grade and salary level of senior civil servants across Whitehall with salaries more than £150,000 was released for the first time.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, has overseen the publication and will also chair the new public sector transparency board based at the Cabinet Office, which will drive the government’s cross government transparency agenda.
Mr Maude, said: “Transparency is at the heart of the government's programme, which is why the Cabinet Office, at the heart of government is taking the lead. All departments will open up their data in the weeks ahead.
“We are pulling back the curtains to let light into the corridors of power. By being open and accountable we can start to win back people’s trust. Openness will not be comfortable for us in government; but it will enable the public to hold our feet to the fire.”
In his letter, Mr Cameron said: “Greater transparency across government is at the heart of our shared commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account; to reduce the deficit and deliver better value for money in public spending; and to realise significant economic benefits by enabling businesses and non-profit organisations to build innovative applications and websites using public data.”