Letter: Weakening a curb on corruption

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Sir: I join with Dame Gillian Brown and Fergus Allen (Letters, 2 and 4 March) in welcoming the forthcoming debate in the House of Lords on 8 March on the Government's ill-advised plans to privatise the Civil Service Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency.

Many of the wide ranging and radical changes in the Civil Service introduced by the Government have commendable objectives. But is can hardly be disputed that many of them also undermine the traditional integrity of the Civil Service and widen the scope for corruption.

That is a high price to pay for the benefits that are being sought. Moreover, it comes in the face of growing public concern about standards in public life, and at a time when several governments abroad, lacking our safeguards, are racked by scandals of corruption, and higher standards of probity are in wide demand.

Surely this is not the moment gratuitously to dismantle one of our prime defences against nepotism and worse.

John Herbecq


West Sussex