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Departmental Disciplinary Procedures

November 10, 2004

Question written on 10/11/2004

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the disciplinary complaints procedure used in relation to senior officials in his Department.

Answered by Douglas Alexander

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Misconduct Procedure applies to all FCO UK-based staff regardless of grade and includes the following stages:an investigation into the allegation followed by a decision on whether there is a case to answer;if there is a case to answer, a disciplinary hearing is convened;if the allegation is upheld the officer has a right of appeal;the officer who is subject to the allegation has the right to be represented by a work colleague or trade union representative at both hearing and appeal stage;if dismissed, the officer has a further external right of appeal to the Diplomatic Service Appeal Board or the Civil Service Appeal Board, as appropriate, as well as to the Employment Tribunal under the appropriate act.The FCO Misconduct Procedure is consistent with best practice and statutory obligations. A copy of the Procedure has been placed in the Library of the House.