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Civil Servants

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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:: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if she will specify the criteria and considerations which have led Her Majesty's Government, in the latest guidance on the duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers, to place greater emphasis as specified in paragraph 8, on the possible use of civil legal action to enforce the duty of confidentiality owed by officials; and if she will make a statement;(2) if, for each difference of

(a) substance and (b) emphasis as between the latest guidance on I he duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers and the last such guidance issued, she will specify the reasons for making the change; and if she will make a statement.

The only change of substance is the inclusion of a provision for appeal to the Head of the Home Civil Service on fundamental issues of conscience, which the Government accepted in principle in their response (Cmnd. 9841) to the Treasury and Civil Service Committee's seventh report of 1985–86. Other changes are for the sake of clarification or completeness.