Department for Work and Pensions: Contracts:Written question - 180065

Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 16 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Contracts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether gagging clauses have been used in contracts drawn up between his Department and any charities, voluntary sector organisations, social enterprises or companies with the intention of stopping any criticism of Ministers of his Department.
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 24 October 2018

In contracts used across government, including at the Department for Work and Pensions there are clauses that vary in different forms, typically these clauses require the supplier to ensure that neither it, nor any of its Affiliates, bring the Authority into disrepute by engaging in any act or omission which is reasonably likely to diminish the trust that the public places in the Authority, regardless of whether or not such act or omission is related to the Supplier’s obligations under said Agreement.

These clauses do not prevent the contracting bodies from making statements critical of government policy or politicians, and certainly do not prevent whistle-blowing (as this would be unlawful). They are designed to protect government, to ensure that contractors adhere to good working practices and do not engage in activities that will bring the Authority into disrepute or otherwise harm the confidence of the public in Government.

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