[2018] ** Motion 65 Civil service impartiality

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the unwarranted attacks on the impartiality, integrity and professionalism of the civil service.

Congress recognises that, for some politicians and commentators, across the political spectrum, undermining the public’s trust in a politically impartial civil service is a price worth paying to further their ideological objectives.

That these attacks have now come from the dispatch box, from a serving government minister, signals a new low in the conduct of a government so evidently at war with itself.

Congress recognises that the prime minister, minister for the cabinet office and all serving government ministers owe a duty to their civil servants, to defend the integrity and impartiality of the service. Failure to do so swiftly and publicly, in the knowledge that civil servants cannot defend themselves publicly, risks further undermining the public’s trust in the service.

These attacks will inevitably have profound longer-term consequences for any government seeking to convince the electorate of major policy initiatives where it seeks to use the analysis and expertise of the civil service to make its case.

Congress therefore calls on:

i. all politicians to avoid undermining the impartiality and integrity of the civil service
ii. the prime minister to publicly condemn the attacks on the impartiality and integrity of the civil service and to discipline members of the government who conduct such attacks.