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Research Report 26: 'If men were angels'. Policy advice in political times: the role of policy officers

Peter Bridgman discusses the difficult role of policy officers, suggesting that it is likely that they view their roles through the prism of their careers, squarely raising the very conflict of interest to be avoided under the values and codes of conduct.  So it may be easier to be compliant.  It may be tempting to be complicit.  And it may be safe to be cautious.

But none of these is frank and fearless. No-one reaches the ideal of excellence nor fulfils the sometimes-competing demands of responsiveness and lawfulness.

Bridgman asks whether it is too much to ask of policy officers that they be the bulwark against this trilogy?


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