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Civil Servants

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Prime Minister what assessment she has made of the extent of the loss of confidence and self-respect amongst civil servants, referred to in the speech by Sir Robert Armstrong at the recent seminar organised by the Royal Institute of Public Administration; to what factors she attributes this lack of confidence and self-respect; what steps are being taken to alleviate the problem; and if she will make a statement.

Sir Robert Armstrong's remarks were made in a talk in which his main concern was to describe all that has been achieved in terms of improvements of management and efficiency in the Civil Service, and to praise the dedication and loyalty with which these changes have been carried through. As he said, there is and always will be more to do, as needs change and systems develop. But I warmly endorse his statement that we have in this country a Civil Service which is second to none in professionalism and integrity, and which, by virtue of accepting and giving effect to these changes, is entitled to the recognition that it is also a Civil Service second to none in efficiency and effectiveness.