The Privileged Adviser
Sir Douglas Wass examines the relationship between ministers and civil servants asks which Civil Service reforms would strengthen it and which weaken it.
Former Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, Sir Douglas Wass explores the concept of authority in his series 'Government and the Governed'.
In his third Reith Lecture entitled 'The Privileged Adviser', Sir Douglas Wass explores the role of British Civil Servants. By tradition they should be neutral in their political philosophy, offer impartial advice to their political chiefs and pursue policies with energy, even when they disagree with them. In reality their definition is not so clear-cut; Ministers and civil servants often are in partnership and can only work together if there is mutual trust. That trust has now been questioned and Sir Wass asks which Civil Service reforms would strengthen it and which would weaken it.