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Issued by the News Distribution Service on behalf of the The Commissioner for Public Appointments
The Commissioner for Public Appointments, Sir David Normington,
today published his formal response to the consultation on his
review of regulation of Ministerial appointments to public bodies
and the final version of his new Code of Practice that will govern
appointments to public bodies from April 2012.
Sir David said:
"I am today announcing a fundamental reform of the regulatory system for Ministerial appointments to public bodies. I have stripped away over 100 pages of detailed process and rules and focused the whole system on the principles of merit, fairness and openness in public appointments. In simple terms, I want to see a single-minded focus from Ministers and Government Departments on getting the very best people into public roles, appointed from strong and diverse fields of candidates, free of political patronage and cronyism.
"Today’s announcement follows 4 months of consultation on my original proposals. I received over 80 written responses, ranging from brief endorsements of my overall direction of travel to detailed comments on my proposals and the questions set out in the consultation document. During the consultation period I also held further discussions with many of those who have an interest in public appointments and have also benefited from the inquiry conducted by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee. I am very grateful to all those who took the time to respond.
"Overall, the response to my proposals has been very positive indeed. There is clear and unambiguous support from the majority of respondents for my package of reforms: the simpler principles-based Code; more proportionate independent assurance; a reformed compliance and audit process; and improved reporting and transparency of practice.
"I have, therefore, decided to implement the essential elements of the new system as proposed in my consultation document but with some important changes of detail and emphasis, reflecting the comments I have received. The changes will come into effect from 1 April 2012.
"The new regulatory system will require a significant change in approach. I recognise that this will present some challenges and I will be working closely with all Departments to help them prepare for the new system. I warmly welcome the Government’s commitment to establish a new Centre of Excellence for public appointments, which I hope will be able to work closely with me in helping Departments through the transition period and continuing to support them as the new system beds down.
"The new system will also result in a new and much smaller number of newly recruited and trained Public Appointment Assessors, who will be performing a different role in the public appointments process. I have today launched an open recruitment competition to appoint the new Assessors so that they are trained and in place for the introduction of the new system on 1 April 2012.
"Public bodies are an important part of the fabric of the UK Government and public service. They spend over £30 billion of public money, regulate public services and oversee policies and services in such areas as crime, health and education, which affect the lives of every citizen. It could not be more important that Ministers are able to appoint the best candidates on merit for these roles. The announcements I am making today will, I hope, help to bring that about.
Ends Notes to Editors
1. Media enquiries about the work of the Commissioner for Public Appointments should go to Maggie O’Boyle on 07880 740627
2. Sir David Normington was appointed Commissioner for Public Appointments for England and Wales and 1st Civil Service Commissioner on 1 April 2011.
3. The post of Commissioner for Public Appointments was created in 1995 following a report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, chaired by Lord Nolan.
4. The Public Administration Committee report ‘Public Appointments: regulation, recruitment and pay’ was published on October 19th 2011.
5. The Commissioner for Public Appointments regulates the processes by which Ministers (including Welsh Assembly Government Ministers) make appointments to the boards of national and regional public bodies. He also currently regulates appointments processes in relation to some bodies in Northern Ireland. For more information about the Commissioner’s remit go to: http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk
6. A summary of consultation responses, the Commissioner’s Outcome of Consultation Responses and further details on the recruitment process for the new Public Appointments Assessors are available on http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept
Phone: 0207 276 2594
Mobile: 07880 740627
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