Politics and Administration: Ministers and Civil Servants

Inquiry concluded

Report (PDF 450 KB) | Oral and Written Evidence (PDF 935 KB)

On 2 November 2005 PASC announced that it is seeking public views on the relationship between Ministers and Mandarins. It has generally been accepted that the Civil Service should be impartial - but is this really possible, or even desirable?

  • Should civil servants be more political, that is, more committed to the programme of the government of the day?
  • Should politicians have more say over the appointment of public servants, particularly those advising them at a senior level?

In the ' Issues and Questions' consultation paper the Committee also asks:

  • What is meant by 'politicisation'? Is it an entirely negative phenomenon?
  • Should there be a greater or lesser role for those with political allegiance within the Civil Service?

In undertaking this inquiry the Committee will also consider the way other countries' civil services are set up to ensure that policies are carried out, and how they appoint to public service posts.

Minutes of evidence taken by the Committee

Press Notices