Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The following principles should govern the conduct of Ministers of the Crown in relation to Parliament:

    1.  Ministers have a duty to Parliament to account and to be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments and Next Steps Agencies;

    2.  It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister;

    3.  Ministers should be as open as possible with Parliament, refusing to provide information only when disclosure would not be in the public interest, which should be decided in accordance with relevant statute and the Government's Code of Practice on Access to Government Information;

    4.  Similarly, Ministers should require civil servants who give evidence before Parliamentary Committees on their behalf and under their Directions to be as helpful as possible in providing accurate and truthful and full information in accordance with the duties and responsibilities of civil servants as set out in the Civil Service Code.[1]

1   The resolution was agreed to by the Commons on 19 March and by the Lords on 20 March 1997. Back

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