The chair of the committee on standards in public life was reporting after the problems caused by the Jo Moore affair following 11 September 2001.
Her infamous e-mail, sent as the terrorist attacks on the US unfolded, suggested it would be a good day to 'bury' bad news - such as a report on councillors' expenses.
It set off a chain of events leading to her resignation, that of Martin Sixsmith, the civil servant who headed the press office at the then DTLR, and eventually of local government secretary Stephen Byers.
It recommended setting out rules on what special advisers can and cannot do, and providing an upper limit on their number. The personal responsibility of each minister, including the prime minister, for their special advisers should also be made clear.
The report said parliamentary agreement should be required for the two special adviser posts in the prime minister's office with executive powers.