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PASC report is right to state that civil servants should remain 'the guardians of the policy process', says FDA

The FDA welcomes today's Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) report on public engagement in policy making, which states that “ultimate responsibility and accountability for leadership must remain with Ministers and civil servants”.

FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

“The report echoes the FDA's view - stated in our recent alternative White Paper on civil service reform - that while the civil service does not have a monopoly on policy making, it should be the guardian of the process. Good policy-making must engage wider stakeholders and measure public opinion in a meaningful way and it is vital that the civil service continues to be innovative in the way it achieves this.

“The report makes a number of welcome recommendations which would enhance the ability of wider society to contribute to policy formulation. However, this must also be resourced and requires political commitment to a broader engagement process.

“Implementing policy should never be separate from creating it, and a good policy is one that is well-informed and can be implemented. The FDA firmly believes that the civil service's vital role of presenting final policy advice to Ministers must be retained, ensuring that advice is objective and reflects all the costs, evidence and options available.” 

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 19,000 senior civil servants, government policy advisors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, prosecutors and other professionals work across government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants’ union".  

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

4. For further information contact:

Dave Penman, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827 .

Kay Hender, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747 .

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