Francies Maude and Sir Jeremy Heywood to give evidence on accountability of civil servants

16 July 2012

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week hold the final evidence session in their inquiry into the accountability of civil servants. The Committee will finish by taking evidence first from Lord Butler of Brockwell, Cabinet Secretary from 1988 to 1998, then from Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary, and Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Home Civil Service, and finally from Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office.

The Committee are expected to ask the witnesses about the Government’s civil service reform proposals, including the intention to strengthen the role of secretaries of state in the appointment of departmental permanent secretaries and the suggestion that ministers could be allowed to ask permanent secretaries to appoint particular civil servants on fixed-term contracts. The witnesses are likely to be asked whether this risks politicising the civil service.

The witnesses will also be asked about the accountability of senior civil servants both to ministers and Parliament and whether the mechanisms in place are still appropriate.

The evidence session will take place on Wednesday 18 July in committee room 2 of the House of Lords. The session with Lord Butler of Brockwell will start at 2.40 pm. The session with Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir Bob Kerslake will start at around 3pm. The session with Francis Maude MP will start at around 3.45pm.