Revolving doors at Whitehall office representing Wales

There's been a bit of a staff exodus at the Wales Office, the UK government department that represents Welsh interests in Whitehall.

Half the civil servants working in Cheryl Gillan's private office have left since the general election.

Figures published by the Wales Office show that since May 2010 eleven members of the private office have departed. The private office, which supports the secretary of state, includes a correspondence unit and "a parliamentary team".

Mrs Gillan said: "Changes to the private office have occurred primarily as a consequence of steps the department has taken to provide a more efficient and effective service to Ministers, including merging what were previously two separately staffed private offices and the establishment of a common parliamentary team supporting the Wales Office, Scotland Office and Northern Ireland Office.

"Eleven members of private office (which includes the correspondence unit and the parliamentary team) have left the Department since May 2010, with a turnover rate of 50% between May 2010 and May 2011.

"Of the staff who have left the Wales Office, four have taken the opportunity for voluntary exit; three returned to the Welsh Government; two had come to the end of their fixed term appointments and two took lateral transfers".

Don't you love the terminology? "The opportunity for voluntary exit" is eclipsed in management-speak only by "lateral transfers".

Overall, the turnover rate last year was 23 per cent - compared to 15 per cent in 2009-10, 18 per cent in 2008-09, 26 per cent in 2007-08 and 14 per cent in 2006-07.

The Wales Office has a higher than average staff turnover as many of its employees are on secondment from the Welsh government.

Time to install revolving doors at Gwydyr House, the department's Whitehall HQ?