Sarah Rapson was initially appointed as UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) interim director general in April 2013. She will now take up the post permanently.
Paul Pugh, who was appointed interim Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HM Passport Office) in April 2013, will now also assume the position permanently.
Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill said:
I am pleased to confirm these appointments.
Sarah has made an excellent start since taking on this post in an interim capacity, achieving tangible improvements in all aspects of the command’s operations. I welcome her as a permanent member of the executive team and am looking forward to her continuing to drive customer service, robust decision making and efficiencies in our visa operations.
Under Paul’s watch, the UK passport has remained one of the most secure and trusted documents in the world. Paul has worked for the Home Office for almost three decades and his experience and professionalism is indispensable.
Ms Rapson joined the UK Passport Service (now HM Passport Office) in 2005. In July 2010, she became its Chief Executive, with the immediate task of dismantling the National Identity Service. She was appointed by the Queen as Registrar General for England and Wales in November of the same year.
In her time at HM Passport Office, she was responsible for delivering significant improvements in operational performance and value for money, leading to reductions in passport fees.
Before joining the Civil Service, Ms Rapson’s career was in retail financial services, including management positions at Woolwich plc, Barclays and American Express.
UKVI Director General Sarah Rapson said:
Protecting our borders and providing a good service to visa applicants are not incompatible and I think the improvements that we have made since UKVI was established demonstrate that.
Our visa service should be renowned as consistently competent, high performing and customer focused. We’ve begun the journey to achieving that and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to see it through.
Ms Rapson will remain as Registrar General until the Queen makes a new appointment to this post.
Mr Pugh joined the HM Passport Office in November 2010. As Executive Director for Operations he was responsible for the delivery of passport and certificate operations, before taking up the post of interim Chief Executive in April last year.
Under Mr Pugh’s leadership, HM Passport Office has delivered a new passport application management system and is in the process of introducing an online application service as part of a programme of modernisation of the organisation’s processes. They have also continued the work to transfer the passport application service for UK customers overseas from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to the Home Office.
HM Passport Office Chief Executive Paul Pugh said:
I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chief Executive permanently.
I look forward to continuing our work to modernise how we provide passport and civil registration services, building on our great customer service and the security and integrity of all that we do to protect the public.
Before joining HM Passport Office, Paul was the Regional Director of the Government Office for the East of England. He has held senior Civil Service posts in the Home Office since 1995, with spells outside the department as Chief Executive of the Central Police Training Authority, HR Director at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, and Executive Director of Organisational Development at the North West London Strategic Health Authority.