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Government Departments: Special Advisers

Volume 684: debated on Monday 10 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the change between the draft and final new Civil Service Code whereby the expectation on special advisers to abide by the code has been removed means that such civil servants are, apart from political impartiality, not now required to demonstrate the same standards of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality as other civil servants.[HL6677]

The new Civil Service Code, published on Tuesday 6 June, makes no change to the duties and responsibilities of special advisers, which remain as set out in the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bassam of Brighton on 28 June (WA 161), whether and, if so, by what means it is possible for parliamentarians and the public to obtain information regarding (a) the number of assistants currently employed as special advisers to Ministers; (b) the government departments in which they are employed; and (c) the nature of their services.[HL6678]

As set out in my Answer of Wednesday 28 June (Official Report, col. WA 161) the information requested is not held centrally. It is a matter for individual departments to determine the level of support to be provided to special advisers. The Government publish on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. Information for this financial year will be published shortly.