Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notices

13 January 2008


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) is to take evidence from three prominent former government insiders as part of its inquiry into 'Good Government':

€ Sir Michael Bichard, Director of the Institute for Government and former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Employment

€ Lord (John) Birt, former BBC Director-General and former Number 10 adviser

€ Lord (Digby) Jones, former Minister for Trade and former Director of the CBI.

All three witnesses entered government from outside the normal Whitehall or Westminster channels, in order to provide particular expertise and a fresh perspective on the issues facing government. All three have now also left government, and should be able to offer unique insights into how government works. The issues likely to be covered in the evidence session include the performance and capability of the civil service, the effects of highly centralised government, and how to improve government performance and policy delivery.

The session will be held on Thursday 15 January at 10.00am in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House.

PASC's Good Government inquiry is looking at how effective government is at making and implementing policies, and seeing them delivered successfully. It also considers how well government departments are able to oversee the continuing operations of government. PASC has looked at many related issues over the past decade. This inquiry is an opportunity to take stock of what the Committee has learned from its various investigations, and to hear from others with experience of trying to improve how government works.

For more information about the work of the Committee, visit our website at:


Committee Membership: 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), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724,

Specific Committee Information: Email: Tel: 020 7219 3284

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Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on