HL Deb 09 May 2002 vol 634 c201WA
The Earl of Northesk

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements they propose to make to facilitate (a) parliamentary and (b) public scrutiny of the record of contacts with the media kept under the provisions of Clause 9 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers; and whether it is their policy to release the records as a matter of course under the 30-year rule in any event. [HL3446]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston)

All civil servants, including special advisers, are expected to keep departmental heads of information informed of contacts with the media. Details of such contacts are for internal purposes only. The release of such records will be treated in the same way as all other records and closed for 30 years only if they come within the usual criteria governing closure.