HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 c586W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what procedures exist in his Department for a civil servant to report actions which(a) are illegal, improper or unethical, (b) are in breach of constitutional convention or a professional code, (c) may involve possible maladministration and (d) are otherwise inconsistent with the Civil Service Code. [136059]

Dr. Howells

The procedure is set out in the DTI staff handbook.

If a member of staff feels that the performance of any part of their duties raises a fundamental issue of conscience they should consult a senior officer.

If necessary and if a problem cannot be resolved by other means staff are advised that they may take the matter up with the Principal Establishment and Finance Officer and the Permanent Head of the Department, and that they have a right to have the matter referred to the Head of the Home Civil Service through the Permanent Head of the Department. If a member of staff feels that the response does not represent a reasonable response to their grounds for concern, they may report the matter in writing to the Civil Service Commissioners.

The Department has also designated a senior DTI manager, who has agreed to be available to discuss issues of conscience with any member of staff who may prefer to raise a matter outside the usual channels on a confidential basis.