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Government Management

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what representations he has received about the implications for the implementation of the White Paper "Improving Management in Government: The Next Steps," of the recent leak of a letter from Mr. Paul Gray to Mr. Tom Jeffrey about educational testing; and if he will make a statement.

I have received no representations about the matter.

Was it proper for Mr. Ingham's office, a Civil Service office, to give authority for the leak? Will there be a leak inquiry, and if not, why not?

Mr. Ingham must be very flattered by the amount of attention that he receives from the hon. Gentleman. The position remains quite clear. The Prime Minister stated on 14 March that it is not the usual practice to give information on such matters.

Will the Minister say why millions of pounds of public money are being spent in bringing management and computer consultants into various Government Departments to do jobs that could be done perfectly well by civil servants?

If bringing in consultants is designed to improve the management of the Civil Service and get better value for money for taxpayers, that is the right thing to do.