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Government Employees

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister what are the rules governing the procedures under which personnel employed by Her Majesty's Government speak to hon. Members.

Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the policies and actions of their Departments, and will usually wish to be present at briefings of Members when policy issues are involved. Briefings of Members by civil servants on factual matters may be undertaken at the discretion of Ministers. On next steps agencies, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 15 May, Official Report, column 374–75.