Civil servants must not leak says FDA general secretary

3 December 2008

(For immediate release)

Civil servants must not leak says FDA general secretary

Commenting on the Speaker's statement about the arrest of Damien Green, FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said:

"It is an absolute rule that civil servants should not and must not leak government information. To do so undermines the core purpose of the civil service, and undermines the critical bond of trust between elected ministers and their civil servants. It is a serious disciplinary offence. If a civil servant believes that there are questions of maladministration, or has a crisis of conscience, then the Civil Service Code provides routes for addressing that.

"Nor should MPs of any party encourage or condone leaking by civil servants. Whatever any apparent short-term political gain, no MP benefits by corroding the political impartiality of the civil service, and that relationship of trust between ministers and civil servants, which are both necessary to good governance in the UK".

Notes for Editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. 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".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, general secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.