Evidence session on Whitehall leaks

22 January 2009

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) continues its examination of the issues surrounding unauthorised disclosure of government information, from 10.00 am

Witnesses include: Sir David Omand KCB, former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office and UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator at the Cabinet Office; Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University of London and David Hencke, investigative journalist and Westminster correspondent at The Guardian newspaper.

The Committee will explore with panel members how to balance government's need for confidentiality with the public interest in openness and transparency. It is also likely to examine why and how civil servants leak official information and the routes available to them if they need to blow the whistle.

PASC’s inquiry into leaks and whistleblowing in Whitehall is looking at the effects of leaks on the operations of government, the steps taken to investigate and prevent occurrences and how to decide whether the public interest is best served by keeping information confidential or disclosing it.

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