Clause 15

Part of Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 3 Mawrth 2011.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury) 2:00, 3 Mawrth 2011

The clause relates to what might be known as the revolving-door problem, where holders of certain offices are prevented from working for the Crown when their office is terminated or they leave. That is perfectly reasonable in many ways. However, there was some debate in the House of Lords about why the period of two years was chosen to prevent a person ceasing to be CAG from holding Crown office. I think there was an original proposal by the Commission that the ban should be for life—that the person leaving should never be able to hold Crown office—but that was reduced to two years.

My noble Friend Lord Touhig proposed an amendment to strengthen the provisions in respect of the sort of occupations that it was felt appropriate for a former CAG to hold by referring those cases to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. The Minister will know that, when she leaves her ministerial office in the not-too-distant future, she will have to apply for permission to the advisory committee if she wishes to take up office after she has left her political career. That applies to a number of senior posts in the public sector, but such a stipulation is not in the Bill. It seems slightly unusual that it has not been referenced. I think the Government tabled an amendment to try to allow the Public Accounts Commission to specify what sort of advisory arrangements would be appropriate, but I am  still not convinced that the absence of the advisory committee is a good thing for the clause. Will the Minister think again about that?