Ministerial Accountability

Oral Answers to Questions — Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th February 1997.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd , Cynon Valley 12:00 am, 24th February 1997

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the extent to which the recommendations contained in the Scott report relating to ministerial accountability have been implemented. [15532]

Photo of Mr Roger Freeman Mr Roger Freeman , Kettering

A full and careful consideration of the points on ministerial accountability made raised by Sir Richard Scott was set out in the Government's response to the recent report of the Public Service Select Committee. In line with the Committee's key recommendation, I expect to be in a position to bring before the House a formal resolution on ministerial accountability before the end of this Parliament.

Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd , Cynon Valley

Have not the Government survived the Scott report by quite shamefully distorting its findings? Ministers whom Scott found guilty of deliberately deceiving Parliament are still in office and civil servants whom Scott criticised are either ambassadors to other countries or have been knighted. Now we are told that there will be no prosecutions, so who was responsible? Are not the electorate fed up with the Government, and do they not want to get rid of them as soon as possible?

Photo of Mr Roger Freeman Mr Roger Freeman , Kettering

No. There was a full debate almost exactly a year ago in which the hon. Lady and I participated. It produced a clear result. As for the prosecution of civil servants, I can confirm that, with the exception of the Dunk case, no civil servant in any Department could be found to have acted in a manner that was not forthcoming and in accordance with Government policy. There was no intention to deceive, therefore no prosecutions followed.