Letter from the Clerk of the Committee of 20
July 2000 to all Government Departments
The Committee are currently inquiring into the role
of special advisers to Ministers and the part they play in the
The Committee note the evidence of Professor Anthony
King on 12 July that 'we know a fair amount about how many there
are in government at the moment and we know a good deal about
what they are paid, but I do not think we know enough about who
they are, their educational background, their career histories'.
Professor King also felt that not enough was known about the work
they are currently doing, saying 'is it true, as is sometimes
alleged, that some part-time special advisers are taking advantage
in the rest of their time of knowledge and contacts gained as
special advisers? Is it the case that special advisers are spending
their time on party political matters at the tax-payer's expense?'
The Committee understand that there are two special
advisers working in your Department, namely x and y. Would you
be able to let the Committee know in respect of each his or her
age, educational background and career history. Since it appears
to the Committee that there are several distinct types of special
adviser it would also be useful to know if they are technical
experts or political advisers in a party sense.
Alda Barry, Clerk to the Committee
20 July 2000