The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

I think you make a powerful case. What I've observed is that in every department -- what you say about Secretaries of State or ministers in charge of departments is true and, in my experience, they do not provide, could not possibly be expected to provide, the sort of line management care and supervision in practice that you would expect within a large organisation and I would expect to see in respect of permanent civil servants within the department. That, as I tried to say earlier, is in the nature, to some extent, of the job.

I do think that this is an area worth continuing to look at. I think special advisers, as a group, bring enormous benefits do their Secretaries of State and to their departments, and I think -- I'm not aware of the details, but I am conscious that, centrally, more efforts have been made, I think particularly since the last election, for example, to try to offer training centrally to special advisers and, to my knowledge, for the first time ever, in my experience, there has been an appraisal system --

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