The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) publishes a report today responding to the Government’s consultation on the Draft Cabinet Manual. PASC welcomes the Manual, and dismisses the notion that it represents the start of a written constitution
Instead it recommends a number of improvements to ensure it meets its primary purpose as a comprehensive and authoritative guide to government practice for ministers and civil servants.
The Committee recommends that the Cabinet Manual should be clear about its aim; fully and comprehensively referenced and distinguish more clearly the legal or other status of the information. As such PASC also suggests that the name Cabinet Manual is potentially misleading and should be changed to better reflect its contents and objectives.
Bernard Jenkin, Chair of PASC said:
"The document will provide Parliament with a useful means by which to scrutinise government and the standard of public administration.
I welcome the dialogue though which the Cabinet Secretary has sought to engage select committees of Parliament in consultation on its contents. It is a dialogue we wish to see continue as the document evolves."