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Civil Service

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1997

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To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to encourage better employer-employee relations in the Civil Service. [15103]

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster recently had a very constructive meeting with the General Secretaries of the Civil Service trade unions at which he discussed a range of issues connected with improving employer-employee relations within the Civil Service.

24.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to protect and promote the independence of the civil service. [15115]

The role of the Civil Service, as set down in the Civil Service Code, is to assist the duly constituted Government of the day with integrity, honesty, impartiality and objectivity. Ministers are under a duty—set out in the Ministerial Code—to uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service and not to ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code. This Government are the first to commit Members to bringing forward legislation to give legal force to the Civil Service Code to ensure that the essential characteristics of a politically impartial Civil Service are enshrined in statute.