Civil Service

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the Civil Service. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

09.11.2015Civil Service statistics
This note sets out statistics on Civil Service employment.
02.11.2015Special advisers
This Paper sets out details of roles and responsibilities of special advisers and information about the number of special advisers. It also explains how the role has developed and includes details of some recent incidents involving special advisers.
25.09.2015The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard, which formally opened in July 2015. The Chair has stated she hopes to conclude the Inquiry's work before end-2020. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign.
16.07.2015'Purdah' before elections and referendums
Specific restrictions on the use of public resources are in place during the 'purdah' period before elections and referendums. The Cabinet Office issues guidance for civil servants on their conduct during this period.
24.03.2015The Osmotherly Rules
The Osmotherly Rules (the Rules) give guidance on the role of civil servants and other Government officials appearing before select committees. The purpose of the Rules is to assist staff in Government departments dealing with requests for information from select committees, including: the provision of evidence, handling select committee reports and drafting responses to such reports.
18.03.2015The Civil Service Code
The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 sets out a requirement that there should be a Civil Service Code. The Code must provide that civil servants carry out their duties for the assistance of the administration of the day. These duties must be carried out with 'integrity and honesty' and 'objectivity and impartiality'.
10.03.2015Sources of Statistics
This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on 27 subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.
03.11.2014Civil Service Recruitment: Heads of departments and Extended Ministerial Offices
This Note sets out the current rules for recruitment to the heads of department roles in the Civil Service and the rules on established Extended Ministerial Offices.
22.05.2014Pre-election contacts between civil servants and opposition parties
By convention, opposition parties are entitled to enter into confidential discussions with senior civil servants in the run-up to a general election. This note outlines the current arrangements and also provides a brief history of the convention.
25.10.2013Civil service pensions - reforms to 2010
Provides an overview of the development of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme to 2010

Lords Library Notes

17.01.2011Debate on 20 January: Constitutional and Parliamentary Effect of Coalition Government
This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate on 20 January 2011: "To call attention to the constitutional and parliamentary effect of Coalition Government".

Select Committee Reports

06.07.2011Pre-appointment hearing for the post of Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman.
Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
06.07.2011Remuneration of the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman.
Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
16.11.2010Pre-appointment hearing for the dual post of First Civil Service Commissioner and Commissioner for Public...
Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
26.07.2010Administration and expenditure of the Chancellor's departments 2008-09.
Government response. Treasury report [Commons]
31.03.2010Leaks and Whistleblowing in Whitehall.
Government response. Cabinet Office; Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House believes that Adam Werritty breached Civil Service guidance on the conduct of Ministerial meetings for 16 months; notes that Ministers had over 1,500 meetings with corporate ...
That this House expresses serious concern over the Government's proposal to impose changes on MyCSP, the public sector organisation that administers Civil Service pension schemes, that ...
That this House recognises the important work of civil servants based in the Government Offices for the English Regions; regrets the closure of the remaining Government Offices by 31 ...
That this House notes that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is charged with paying and monitoring hon. Members' expenses; further notes that recent Freedom of ...
That this House notes with disapproval that the five members of the senior management team of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) all receive salaries higher than ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses