FDA welcomes publication of hospitality report for senior civil servants

13 February 2009

(For immediate release)

FDA welcomes publication of hospitality report for senior civil servants

Commenting on the Cabinet Office publication of the hospitality received by board members of government departments, FDA Head of Operations Dave Penman said:

"The FDA welcomes the publication of this report and the commitment to publish this information annually. It is vital that senior civil servants maintain contacts and relationships outside government and it is normal business practice that these may occasionally involve social events. The key to this operating effectively are the requirements under the civil service code which ensures that any hospitality does not compromise 'personal judgment or integrity' and also the transparency that reporting brings.

"It should not be regarded as extraordinary that civil servants in the department that deals with business have contacts with private enterprise or that those in the department for culture attend cultural events. Corporate hospitality, at the low levels outlined, is accepted practice in business for maintaining relationships and, as highlighted in the report, has been used by a number of media organisations. It would be ludicrous to suggest that conduct could be influenced by the offer of a meal or attendance at a function."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Dave Penman, Head of Operations, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.

Kay Hender, Communications Assistant, tel: 020 7401 5589.