• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Shifting blame for Home Office mistakes in dealing with asylum seekers

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

It is not easy for human beings to acknowledge their own mistakes, failures or faults especially those affecting other people's life. Expressions like: 'I'm sorry. It was my fault. I am totally responsible!' are rarely heard today. In fact, even when a fault is admitted, every effort is made to shift the blame on someone else or to rely on mitigating circumstances. This is particularly true when it comes to Ministerial Responsibility. Government Officials always find it easy to censure, to castigate, to reprove the common people; but when it comes to their own shortcomings or to their department's failing the task turns out to be unbearable. They often hire the service of clever men known as advisers or Spin Doctors to try to manipulate information in order to plaster or embellish their image. What is happening now in the department of the Home Office confirms this. Steve Moxon is a civil servant working as a Home Office official in Sheffield, now being suspended for exposing a secret immigration policy which waived key checks to deal with a backlog of cases of East European Asylum Seekers by allowing them to stay in UK without a proper immigration check. ...read more.

Middle

In doing so they should be guided by the policy of the Government on evidence to Select Committees and by the requirements of security and confidentiality. The civil servant's first duty is to his or her Minister. Thus, when a civil servant gives evidence to a Select Committee on the policies or actions of his or her Department, he or she does so as the representative of the Minister in charge of the Department and subject to the Minister's instructions and is accountable to the Minister for the evidence which he or she gives. The ultimate responsibility lies with Ministers, and not with civil servants, to decide what information should be made available, and how and when it should be released.6 Coming now to the problem surrounding the death of Dr. Kelly, it is right to say that the Government was not united in connection with the legal reasons of going to war against Iraq and this moved Mr. Robin Cook, former Foreign Secretary and the leader of the House of Commons to resign. Mr. Cook made it clear in his speech before he resigned: "I can't accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ministers are thus responsible for their own actions, a concept known as individual responsibility, and are accountable for the actions of their departments. Civil servants and Special Advisers are accountable to ministers. Although the functions of Civil Servants and Special Advisers seem to overlap, this allows good scrutiny and a second check on all major decisions springing from each Government Department. 1 Opinion Telegraph. 2004. Accessed from http://search.marsfind.com/ufts.htm on 10th March 2004 2 Curzon, L. B. Dictionary of Law. 2002. 6th ed. London: Pearson Educational Limited. P112 3 Barnett, H. Constitutional and Administrative Law. 2003. 4th ed. London: Cavendish Publishing Limited. P322 4 Ibid. P331 5 Ibid. P 329 6 The Armstrong Memorandum. 1985. Duty of Civil Servant. Accessed from http://www.civilservant.org.uk/armstrong.shtml on March 6th 2004 7 BBC News. Accessed from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2859431.stm on 11th March 2004 8 BBC News on Monday, 12 May, 2003, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK 9 The Guardian Newspaper of Sunday March 22, 2003 15:33 IST accessed from http://www.rediff.com/us/2003/mar/22iraq5.htm 10 Ibid 11 Ombudsman. 2004 . Ministerial Code of Conduct. Accessed from http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/contactus.html on 11th March 2004 12 Hutton Inquiry. 2004. Government Dossier on Weapon of Mass Destruction. Accessed from http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/report/ on 11th March 2004 - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. To what extent does ministerial responsibility ensure accountability to the government?

    The convention is designed to create accountability of ministers to parliament and to safeguard civil servants from blame. It covers such things as policy errors, mishandling of policies and personal misconduct. In practice the first two parts of this convention have become diluted and politicized: ministers are reluctant to accept

  2. personal exercis programme

    This means that after the PEP my recovery time was six minutes. Sit-Ups (Testing Muscular Endurance) Using the same technique as I used to test the muscular endurance of my abdominal muscles before the PEP was put into place, I re-tested the endurance of my abdominals. I did fifty sit-ups.

  1. Asylum seekers

    stones at us."...This shows that the abuse is constant they fled their country to move to what they thought was a peaceful land...but how wrong they were. This is obviously not true in all cases some lead happy lives and enjoy the rest of their lives.

  2. The colonial factor in the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970)

    He planned the hijacking of a National commercial aircraft Fokker 27 on a schedule flight from Benin to Lagos. All these and other signs and reports convinced the Federal Military Government of Ojukwu's intention to 17secede. Lt Col. Yakubu Gowon, the Head of Federal Government, imposed a total blockade of the East.

  1. Prospects for India's development

    could face an environment whereby 30% of the country has privatized operators and the remaining is state-run. This presents challenges at the national level as the need for interconnection and sharing of resources is essential. Furthermore, national leadership fails to set a national goal or model for the country and thus does not take advantage of potential economies of scale.

  2. Prime Ministers between 1899-1914

    The topic of Tariff Reform split Balfour's government and when he resigned in 1905, Edward VII invited Henry Campbell-Bannerman to form a government. Campbell-Bannerman accepted and in the 1906 General Election that followed the Liberal Party had a landslide victory.

  1. Political accountability -Parliament and the courts

    The current Labour government does not underestimate the powers of these committees. After the aftermath of Labour's 2001 election victory their whips attempted to influence the membership of the committees. The attempt was unsuccessful and the committee chairs whom the government had sought to expel were reinstated.

  2. "Assess the significance of the resignation of David Blunkett as Home Secretary"

    Lonely and living away from home, he drove himself to achieve academically. After leaving school, Mr. Blunkett went back to Sheffield and worked for the Gas Board, studying economics, politics and economic history A-levels in the evenings. Later, he attended Sheffield University where he obtained an honours degree in political theory and institutions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work