asked the Prime Minister if she will make a further announcement about secondments to the Civil Service.
In my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Evennett) on 18 March I announced that, in the light of the legal advice which had been received, measures were being taken to provide that future appointments to the Civil Service by secondment are made in compliance with the Civil Service Order in Council 1982 and any regulations made thereunder. New procedures will be introduced as soon as possible. Until then, all proposals for new secondments are being referred to the Civil Service commissioners and are being considered on an individual basis against the background of the provisions and discretionary powers contained in the Order in Council.There remains the question of regularising appointments on secondment terms made by Departments in the belief that the Civil Service Order in Council 1982 did not apply to such arrangements. The Civil Service commissioners have been advised by their legal advisers that an appropriate way to proceed would be by way of a further order—the Civil Service Order in Council 1985 — the object of which will be to regularise all such appointments made during the currency of the 1982 order and its predecessor the 1978 order on or before 18 March 1985 when I made the announcement to which I have already referred. The order was made at a meeting of the Privy Council which was held yesterday, and a copy of it has been placed in the Library.