Public Administration Select Committee: Inquiry

Politics and Administration:
Ministers and Civil Servants

Report | Oral and Written Evidence

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

Thursday 29 June, HC 660-vi, Corrected transcript
Witnesses: Rt Hon Michael Howard MP and Rt Hon David Blunkett, MP; and Nick Pearce and Guy Lodge, ippr.

Thursday 15 June 2006, HC 660-v, Corrected transcript
Witnesses: Mr Jonathan Baume, General Secretary, First Division Association.

Thursday 9 March 2006, HC 660-iv, Corrected transcript
Witnesses: Sir Michael Quinlan GCB, Sir David Omand GCB, Sir Nicholas Montagu KCB and Sir Robin Young KCB.

Thursday 2 March 2006, HC 660-iii, Corrected transcript
Witnesses: Rt Hon Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO, a Member of the House of Lords, Sir Nicholas Monck KCB, and Sir Christopher Foster.

Thursday 9 February 2006, HC 660-ii, Corrected transcript
Witnesses: Baroness Prashar CBE.

Thursday 10 November 2005, HC 660-i, Corrected transcript
Baroness Fritchie, DBE, a Member of the House of Lords, Commissioner for Public Appointments; and Mr Ed Straw, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Press Notices

26 March 2007
Select Committee calls for new governance code for ministers and civil servants

20 March 2007
PASC to publish report on Politics and Administration: ministers and civil servants

27 June 2006
PASC to hear from Blunkett and Howard on the relationship between ministers and civil servants

6 March 2006
PASC to hear from former Permanent Secretaries about Politics and the Civil Service

24 February 2006
PASC to take evidence from Lord Butler of Brockwell, Sir Nicholas Monck and Sir Christopher Foster on Politics and Administration: Ministers and Administrators

2 November 2005
PASC starts significant new inquiry

Issues and Questions paper