Magazine article Public Finance

Civil Service Values 'Under Threat'

Magazine article Public Finance

Civil Service Values 'Under Threat'

Article excerpt

The government must legislate as soon as possible to protect the impartiality of civil servants as the pressures they endure are greater than ever', the first civil service commissioner has warned.

Baroness Prashar, who is responsible for upholding the civil service code of conduct, said it was vital to protect Whitehall's culture of'merit, impartiality, transparency, and accountability' at a time when it was vulnerable.

'The core values can be perceived by some as standing in the way of speedy reform and there is a temptation to circumvent processes which are designed to maintain them,' she warned.

Ministers trying to drive through ambitious reform programmes have come under fire from trades unions and politicians, who have accused them of politicising the civil service.

Prashar, speaking at the launch of the Civil Service Commissioners' annual report, said demands on civil servants to 'develop a can-do mentality' must not dilute their obligation to offer objective and impartial advice. …

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