Tuesday, 18 October 2011

GoD's plan to avoid another Fox affair

At the end of what is a pretty tame report from Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell on Liam Fox's behaviour, thease were his recommendations...

a. Where discussions take place with external organisations which raise substantive issues relating to departmental decisions or contracts and where an official is not present Ministers should inform their department.

b. On Ministerial visits, whether in the UK or abroad, departments should make sure there is no confusion about who is and is not a member of the Ministerial party.

c. Officials should accompany Ministers to all official visits and meetings overseas at which it is expected that official matters may be raised, and should seek guidance from the FCO if there is any uncertainty about the status of such meetings or the attendance of non-officials at them.

d. Permanent Secretaries should discuss with Ministers at the time of their appointment and regularly thereafter whether any acquaintances or advisers have contractual relationships with the department or are involved in policy development. The Minister and the Permanent Secretary should take action as necessary to ensure there can be no actual or perceived conflict of interest in line with the principles of the Ministerial Code.
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e. Permanent Secretaries should take responsibility for ensuring departmental procedures are followed, and for raising any concerns with Ministers, advising the Cabinet Secretary and ultimately the Prime Minister where such concerns are not resolved.

1 comment:

Antisthenes said...

So that proves it. Ministers appear to be accountable to civil servants and not civil servants to Ministers. If Ministers are to report and discuss anything with anybody about their conduct it should be to parliament and to the people. No wonder Ministers find it hard to get anything done if civil servants believe Ministers are subservient to them.

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