Normington,Commissioner for Public Appointments and First Civil
Service Commissioner,publishes response to consultation on
regulation of Ministerial appointments to public bodies
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