Thursday, 12 February 2009

Civil servants take 10 'freebies' each

The Daily Telegraph reports that figures to be disclosed today will show that supposedly impartial mandarins, many in charge of departments with large Whitehall budgets, have repeatedly been entertained by firms.

The Daily Telegraph has been told that around 180 civil servants will be named in a list published today. It will detail approximately 1,800 items in total that have been declared by Whitehall employees - an average of 10 trips for each official.

The hospitality mainly covers lunches, dinners and receptions. However, there is also more lavish entertainment including high-profile international rugby matches and other sporting events.

Invites to other exclusive occasions, like the opera and the Chelsea Flower Show, that make up the circuit of hospitality events, was also accepted.

Among those who have been offering the "freebies" were banks, financial consultancies and news organisations.

It comes as ministers seek to clamp down on civil servants who accept hospitality from lobbyists and companies seeking to influence legislation. The recent "Lords for hire" scandal has heightened the need for tighter control among those in Whitehall and Westminster.

In view of Wales being firmly part of the UK and its public servants largely forming part of the UK public sector/civil service, I wonder if any of the 'Cathays Park hundreds' would like to come clean as they form part of the Home Civil Service?


Alun from Cardiff 12 February 2009 at 09:33  

Don't know about civil servants but ministers are always seen at paying events in Cardiff. What's the chance of them paying for their ticket like the rest of us?

Anonymous 12 February 2009 at 10:38  

Team building days are a scandal!!! Under the training budget teams are allowed to spend large amounts on away-days to get to know one another. My team spent £1800 last year on playing games at a hotel in mid Wales. We had fun but I don't think the money spent was justified.

Anonymous 12 February 2009 at 20:05  

Welcome back!
And more good reading Pippa!
Never knew civil servants did this?
Knowledge is definitely power.
Endless freebies indeed.
Ready to be exposed I think!

Anonymous 16 February 2009 at 14:30  

training budgets have always been too high and courses not informative enough. Money left over at the end of the finantial year is earmarked for jollys and team get togethers.

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