The House of Lords Constitution Committee have today published their 4th report of the 2009-10 session on 'The Cabinet Office and the Centre of Government' (HLP 30, ISBN 9780108459320) in which they suggest that power within the cabinet has become increasingly centralised to the Prime Minister and recommend that structures of accountability should be reformed to mirror that change. The Committee expresses support for the principles of collective responsibility but recognise that increasingly the Cabinet Office has become responsible for overseeing the delivery of government policy across departments. They stress that accountability mechanisms within the UK constitution are not set up to reflect this new reality with parliamentary and select committee scrutiny based on individual Ministers reporting to Parliament for activities within their departments. The Committee also considers the role of the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and state that the responsibilities of the post are currently poorly defined. They recommend that the Government reassess the functions of the Minister for the Cabinet Office to ensure that the postholder's responsibilities accurately reflect the strategic role the Cabinet Office plays in delivering government policy. The report goes on to consider the approach taken to changes to the machinery of government and the change in the role and function of the Lord Chancellor which took place during Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister. The Committee states that the process of change involved awholly inadequate' consultation both within government and with the senior judiciary, and further states that there was qno justification for failure to consult on these important reformsq. The Committee recommends that in future the Cabinet Office should play a formal role in investigating any machinery of government changes, particularly those with constitutional implications.24 June 2009 Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Lord Butler of Brockwell and Lord Wilson of Dinton 24 June 2009 Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Lord Butler of ... should be advisers and should not have executive responsibility or the power to give instructions or orders to civil servants. ... I am an old fogey, I expect, like Lord Peston; we have got by for 150 years without it, mostly happily, and if one can have ananbsp;...
|Title||:||Cabinet Office and the Centre of Government Fourth Report of Session 2009-10 - Report With Evidence|
|Author||:||Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on the Constitution|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2010-01-01|