Public Administration Select Committee
Smaller Government: What do Ministers do? Further Report with the Government Response to the Committee's Seventh Report of Session 2010-12
HC 1540, Fifteenth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report and Appendix, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Public Administration Select Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
In 'Smaller Government: What do Ministers do? Further Report (HC 1540)' the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) rejects the government's refusal to bring forward the proposal to reduce the number of ministers in the Commons in line with the proposed reduction of MPs, saying that the creation of so many ministerial posts has been "patronage-driven" rather than reflecting needs. The Committee is also disappointed that the government is refusing to modernise the doctrine of ministerial accountability to reflect its policies of localism and decentralisation.
PASC found that the Government's ambition to decentralise power away from Whitehall should give ample scope by the middle of the current Parliament to reduce the number of ministers. In its earlier report the Committee recommended a review of ministerial numbers to reflect the smaller government central to the Prime Minister's vision of a Big Society. It repeats that recommendation.
PASC also found that Ministers' time was not always well spent, and identified a number of ways in which the Government could refocus the work of Ministers and make them more effective.
The Committee believes it should ultimately be possible to cut the number of ministers to a total of 80, shared between the Commons and the Lords.
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