Press Notice 47, Session 2005-06

12 June 2006

PASC to quiz FDA General Secretary on “scapegoat” civil servants

Further evidence sessions for Ethics and Standards and Politics and Administration: Ministers and Civil Servants inquiries announced

On Thursday 15 June the Public Administration Select Committee will be taking evidence in public for its inquiries into Ethics and Standards and Politics and Administration: Ministers and Civil Servants.

Jonathan Baume, General Secretary, FDA, will be giving evidence on ministerial and Civil Service responsibility. The Committee will be able to explore how responsibility is divided, and will be able to question the General Secretary about his recent statements to the media, and his assertion that “there does seem to be a tendency among some politicians … and some in the media to look for scapegoats to explain why certain policy initiatives have not worked out”.

The Committee will hear first from Janet Gaymer CBE, Commissioner for Public Appointments, and Janet Paraskeva, First Civil Service Commissioner These two new Commissioners have now been in post for almost six months. In the Committee’s final evidence session on its inquiry on Ethics and Standards it will be able to question them about the independence and accountability of their offices, ministerial involvement in the appointments process for both public appointments and senior civil service posts, and how their work relates to levels of public trust in the ethics and standards of those in public life.

The evidence session will take place on Thursday 15 June in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House, London SW1.

10.30 am Janet Gaymer CBE, Janet Paraskeva


11.30 am Jonathan Baume

Full details of all the Committee’s inquiries can be found on the PASC website at


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows:  Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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