Written statement to Parliament

Commercial governance

Written Statement made by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Minister for Prisons, Probation and Rehabilitation.

Yesterday the press reported allegations that former employees of the Ministry of Justice have behaved improperly and that knowledge they may have acquired while working for the Department has been used to gain a competitive advantage.

We take all allegations of impropriety extremely seriously. We have launched an immediate investigation to ascertain the facts, which the Cabinet Office’s Propriety and Ethics team will support.

The rules around former civil servants taking up employment in the private sector are made very clear when they leave. Under no circumstance should they exploit privileged access to government contracts or sensitive information which could be used to influence the outcome of commercial competitions.

Let me also add, that over the last 6 months, we have improved our commercial capability, more than doubling the senior commercial experts monitoring work with the private sector. But we know there is still more to do.

I will update the House once our investigation has been completed.