Civil Service Code complaints - letter from First Civil Service Commissioner

As outlined in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Commission is responsible for hearing complaints on appeal brought by civil servants under the Civil Service Code. The Commission also has a role in helping Departments with promoting the Code. The Civil Service Commission took on this role in 2003 at the suggestion of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, and with the support of the Cabinet Secretary.

Following the publication of the 2023 People Survey results, on 10 May 2024 First Civil Service Commissioner, Baroness Gisela Stuart, wrote to all Permanent Secretaries to outline the Commission’s role in relation to the Civil Service Code and request their support in building a better understanding of Code complaints within Departments. 

Speaking at a debate of the House of Lords Constitution Committee on its Permanent Secretaries: Appointment and Removal report, Baroness Stuart said:

“Now that the full results of the people survey are available to us, we have written to all Permanent Secretaries in Scotland, Wales and England in order to engage in outreach with their departments over the coming year. We will ask each department for a list of the department’s nominated officers, details on the number of code complaints that the department has received, and the number of code complaints that have been upheld by the department. We are keen to ensure that civil servants understand the provisions of the code and are aware of the ways in which they can make a complaint, and that adequate processes are in place within departments.”

The text of the letter can be found below:

We look forward to continuing to work with Departments on promoting the Code and understanding Code complaints over the coming year. We will report more on this work in our Annual Report in due course.

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