To ask the Deputy Prime Minister
(1) whether unpaid special advisers who are appointed for less than a year are obliged to sign the Official Secrets Act in circumstances where advisers, both paid and unpaid, who are appointed for more than a year are obliged to do so;
(2) what regulations control the appointment of unpaid special advisers if they are appointed for less than one year; and if he will make a statement;
(3) how many unpaid special advisers who have been appointed for a term of less than a year there are in (a) his Department and (b) all Departments;
(4) what the expense to (a) his Department and (b) all departments of appointing unpaid special advisers for less than a year was in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement;
(5) in what way selection criteria applied to unpaid special advisers differ from those applicable to paid special advisers.
All special advisers, whether paid or unpaid and whatever the duration of their appointment, are employed under terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers and in accordance with paragraph 50 of the Ministerial Code. The rules on the selection and appointments of unpaid special advisers are the same as those for paid special advisers. All appointees are covered by the Official Secrets Act. I am not aware of any unpaid special advisers appointed for a period of less than a year.