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Panel 2 - A view from within public service: standards, civil servants and Ministers

Part of the conference held at the University of Sussex on April 8th, 2022: 'Ethics and the Civil Service- Past, Present, and Future'.  

The event brought together historians, political scientists, civil servants, lobbyists and politicians to investigate the factors that lay behind the revelations of poor standards of ethical conduct among senior civil servants in Whitehall in recent scandals such as the Greensill Affair and the ongoing 'Partygate'. The symposium also sought to challenge the persistent myth that traditionally high standards of professional conduct among UK Civil Servants have their roots in the 1854 Northcote-Trevelyan Report and to emphasise that it was the 'modern' Civil Service which administered the British Empire in its final century.

Facilitator:

  • Professor David-Barrett (University of Sussex)

Speakers:

  • Baroness (Gisela) Stuart of Edgbaston - First Commissioner of the UK Civil Service Commission
  • Sir Philip Rutnam (Former Permanent Secretary to the Home Office)
  • Jill Rutter (Institute for Government & King's College, London) Facilitator: Professor David-Barrett (University of Sussex)
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Consulting employees: past, present and future

Consulting employees: past, present and future- Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: 20 years on (2002-22)

It’s 20 years since the European Union adopted its Directive* on informing and consulting employees across the member states. It became law in the UK in 2005 through the Information and Consultation (ICE) of Employees Regulations, and was phased in to cover all companies with 50 or more workers from 2008, amounting to around 75% of the total workforce.
 
The seminar opens with a brief examination of the role of works councils across Europe, against which the aims of the Directive must be understood. It then explains trade union expectations of the Directive at the time and the current situation across Europe, before leading into more detailed analyses of its implementation and impact in Ireland and the UK. There will be ample time for observations and discussion at the end. 

Speakers:

  • Michael Gold, Chair, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Employment Relations (RHUL)  Origins and significance of the ICE Directive 
  • Aline Conchon, Senior Policy Advisor (industriAll Europe) Union expectations of the ICE Directive and where we are today 
  • Brian McGann, Head of Organisational Development (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union, SIPTU)  Implementation of the ICE Directive in Ireland 
  • Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary (Unite the Union) Implementation of the ICE Directive in the UK 


*Directive 2002/14/EC of 11 March 2002 on establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community. 

Further reading: Hall, M. and Purcell, J. (2012) Consultation at Work. Regulation and Practice (OUP)

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Above the Law, parliament and public standards

Part of the conference held at the University of Sussex on April 8th, 2022: 'Ethics and the Civil Service- Past, Present, and Future'.

The event brought together historians, political scientists, civil servants, lobbyists and politicians to investigate the factors that lay behind the revelations of poor standards of ethical conduct among senior civil servants in Whitehall in recent scandals such as the Greensill Affair and the ongoing 'Partygate'. The symposium also sought to challenge the persistent myth that traditionally high standards of professional conduct among UK Civil Servants have their roots in the 1854 Northcote-Trevelyan Report and to emphasise that it was the 'modern' Civil Service which administered the British Empire in its final century.

Speaker:

Professor Miles Taylor (Professor of British History & Society, Centre for British Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Categories:

How robust is the UK’s standards system and what needs to change

Part of the conference held at the University of Sussex on April 8th, 2022: 'Ethics and the Civil Service- Past, Present, and Future'.

The event brought together historians, political scientists, civil servants, lobbyists and politicians to investigate the factors that lay behind the revelations of poor standards of ethical conduct among senior civil servants in Whitehall in recent scandals such as the Greensill Affair and the ongoing 'Partygate'. The symposium also sought to challenge the persistent myth that traditionally high standards of professional conduct among UK Civil Servants have their roots in the 1854 Northcote-Trevelyan Report and to emphasise that it was the 'modern' Civil Service which administered the British Empire in its final century.

Speakers:

Professor Elizabeth David-Barrett (University of Sussex) 

Professor Gillian Peele (University of Oxford) 

Dr Susan Hawley (Executive Director, Spotlight on Corruption) 

Facilitator: Professor Robert Barrington (University of Sussex)

Categories:

The Civil Service and the British Empire

Part of the conference held at the University of Sussex on April 8th, 2022: 'Ethics and the Civil Service- Past, Present, and Future'.  

The event brought together historians, political scientists, civil servants, lobbyists and politicians to investigate the factors that lay behind the revelations of poor standards of ethical conduct among senior civil servants in Whitehall in recent scandals such as the Greensill Affair and the ongoing 'Partygate'. The symposium also sought to challenge the persistent myth that traditionally high standards of professional conduct among UK Civil Servants have their roots in the 1854 Northcote-Trevelyan Report and to emphasise that it was the 'modern' Civil Service which administered the British Empire in its final century.

Speakers:

Dr Colin Alexander (Nottingham Trent University) - 'Inside the Mind of the Colonial Administrator: Enthusiasm, Self-loathing, Denial and Preservation' 

Dr Steven Pierce (University of Manchester) – ‘Poison and Typewriters: Framing Government Malpractice in Colonial Northern Nigeria’ 

Chair: Dr Ian Cawood (University of Stirling)

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