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Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

'Big role' for government GOATS

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The practice of bringing in people from outside parliament in order to make them ministers, known as GOATS, should be exceptional and subject to greater scrutiny, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

The Public Administration Committee says that such appointments have increased in recent years and that prime ministers should have to explain them to the Commons.

Tony Wright MP, chair of the committee, and Lord Digby Jones, a former GOAT and former CBI director general, commented on whether there should be a limit to GOATS' role in parliament.

Lord Jones told Today presenter James Naughtie that the system of government "was not fit for purpose in the 21st century," as there was "a big role" for experts in policy delivery.

Tony Wright MP agreed that there was a need to "combine what makes a good politician with what we need to make a good minister."

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