Truth in government and the politicization of public service advice

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Recent controversies over intelligence in Iraq, to give one example, have raised problems about the politicization of official advice from government, particularly what we are led to believe is factual or 'objective' advice. Objectivity is a contested value and the lines are often hard to draw between fact, spin and misrepresentation. Public servants are held to higher standards of objectivity than politicians, a fact on which politicians trade when they seek to attribute assessments of evidence to their officials. The growing openness of government documentation is placing pressure on departmental officials who wish to be both loyal to their political masters and honest in their factual assessments. These issues are discussed with reference to recent Australian experience (and also with reference to the UK Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-86
    JournalPublic Administration
    Volume85
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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