Civil Service impartiality and referendums

09 April 2014

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) launches its Civil Service impartiality and referendums inquiry with sessions on Tuesday 8 April and Wednesday 9 April 2014.


Tuesday 8 April 2014, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

At 9.45am

  • Professor Jim Gallagher, University of Oxford
  • Professor Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen

Wednesday 9 April 2014, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury

Timings are approximate.

Purpose of the inquiry

The inquiry aims to consider the dual obligations of civil servants in the Scottish government to their ministers and to the UK Civil Service as a whole and to explore what "impartiality and objectivity" mean in practice for civil servants working on the referendum on independence. It will also scrutinise the leadership of the Civil Service in relation to the referendum on independence.

Particular issues to be explored

  • historical and comparative perspectives on the implications of devolution for civil servants in the UK;
  • examples of challenges in upholding the principle of civil service impartiality; and
  • tensions in the policy advice role of officials in the context of the referendum on Scottish independence.

The @CommonsPASC Twitter account will be live tweeting the session, using the hashtag #CSScotland.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Central government, Parliament, House of Commons news, Commons news, Committee news, Public administration, Civil Service

Share this page