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Departmental Publications

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what guidance is issued to members of his Department on the authorship and publication on the internet of material relating to their official duties; and if he will make a statement. (196743)

All authorship and publication by Department for International Development (DFID) staff of material which draws on official information or experiences is governed by the Civil Service Code, which states:

“You must not:...disclose official information without authority. This duty continues to apply after you leave the Civil Service”.

Guidance to DFID staff states that if they wish to publish books or other works (articles, electronic media including blogs, broadcasts etc.) which draw on official information or experiences, they must, at the outset, apply for permission to do so from the Director of Finance and Corporate Performance (FCPD). If initial permission is granted, they must then submit the final text for scrutiny and clearance to the Director FCPD before proceeding with the publication.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1273W, on departmental publications, if he will place in the Library a copy in electronic format of his Department’s web-based staff handbook. (197409)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1273W. The Department for International Development’s staff handbook has been replaced by a new web-based system, PeopleSight, that provides a wide variety of information for DFID staff. This information could be downloaded only at disproportionate cost.

However, I have arranged to place in the Library a document setting out the contents of PeopleSight.