Senior Civil Servants: Dismissal

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 23rd April 2018.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's policy is on the pension rights of senior civil servants who have been convicted of a criminal offence connected to their work and subsequently dismissed from the civil service.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

In common with other public service pension schemes, the Civil Service pension scheme includes provisions for some or all of an individual’s occupational pension benefits to be forfeited if they are convicted of certain serious crimes relating to their Civil Service employment. Crimes considered serious enough to potentially result in forfeiture of pension are:

  1. Treason;
  2. Offences under the Official Secrets Acts for which the individual has received a sentence, or sentences, amounting to 10 years
  3. An offence certified by a Minister of the Crown as being:
    1. gravely injurious to the interests of the State; or
    2. liable to lead to serious loss of confidence in the public service.

In considering whether and, if so, to what extent an individual’s Civil Service pension should be forfeited, consideration is given to the following:

  • the seniority of the individual
  • the amount of negative publicity the person’s crime has generated for the Government;
  • the extent to which the general public have been negatively impacted by the crime; and
  • and to what extent the individual has involved junior colleagues in their crime

When a civil servant has been convicted of a crime serious enough to warrant consideration of forfeiture, it is the responsibility of that individual’s employing department to raise this with the Cabinet Office. It would normally be a Minister of the employing department who would provide the certification for the seriousness of the offence if necessary.

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