Public Concern at Work report names Cabinet Office as government department with most inadequate whistleblowing procedures

The Cabinet Office has been branded the worst government department when it comes to having adequate whistleblowing procedures in place.

A report by whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work (PCAW) judged departments against good practice criteria set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life and accepted by the government.

The Cabinet Office was placed at the bottom of the league table, with just three points out of a possible 28.

The next worst performer was the Department of Communities and Local Government, followed by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. The Depart­ment for Culture, Media and Sport took the top spot with 25 points.

Guy Dehn, PCAW director, said: “As there are no sanctions in government for such a woeful performance, it is now down to in-coming prime minister Gordon Brown and civil service chief Sir Gus O’Donnell to insist that the Cabinet Office practises what it preaches if it is to earn its place at the heart of government.”

The charity said central guidance needed to be overhauled so it complied with “accepted good practice”. The report also recommended that all departments annually survey staff confidence in whistleblowing arrangements and review how they are working in practice.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said it was “committed to ensuring our employees have access to the appropriate information and guidance on whistleblowing”.

“We have recently developed a new people strategy for the Cabinet Office. As part of the roll-out of the strategy, we plan to look at all our people policies and practices,” the statement said.

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