Select Committee on Public Administration Fourth Report


(a)We recommend that the limitation of special advisers should be governed by the sum voted by Parliament for this purpose (paragraph 30).
(b)We recommend that wherever possible special advisers who are to play no potential role should be recruited under normal civil service procedures (Paragraph 35).
(c)We recommend that the Government consider whether staff working in the area of communications really need to be classified as special advisers or whether they could be subject to open competition (paragraph 38).
(d)We hope that the Leader of the House will take an early opportunity to table an amended resolution so that the House can agree more precisely on what Short Money may be spent and how it is to be accounted for (paragraph 51).
(e)We recommend that consideration be given to the establishment of a separate fund out of which both those advisers whom it was not possible to recruit under civil service rules and Short Money payments to opposition parties could be funded. (Paragraph 53).
(f)We recommend that special adviser posts should be publicly advertised and the Minister given the final choice between suitably qualified candidates (paragraph 55).
(g)The experiment of giving up to three special advisers authority over civil servants should not be extended and the existing arrangements should be reviewed (paragraph 66).
(h)We agree with the Neill Committee that the lines of accountability, and overlap in respect of special advisers can appear less than clear (paragraph 72).
(i)We endorse the Neill Committee's recommendations on the need for a Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. (Paragraph 74).
(j) We particularly endorse the Neill Committee's criticisms of the Model Contract insofar as that fails to mention relations between advisers and the GICS, and believe that the proposed Code of Conduct for Special Advisers should give clear guidance on this matter (paragraph 76).
(k)We welcome the Government's invitation to us to comment on the proposed Special Advisers Code although such an invitation should not be seen as a substitute for a full parliamentary debate, which should take place at the earliest opportunity (paragraph 77).

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 13 March 2001