Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Public Appointments

From the 1st April I am taking up a new part time non exec role as a " Public Appointments Assessor.". Fourteen new Public Appointments Assessors have been appointed by Sir David Normington, Commissioner for Public Appointments. The PAAs will assist him in "upholding the principle of selection on merit in ministerial appointments to public bodies and statutory offices.".

My colleagues and I will take up our appointments on 1st April 2012 and will replace 157 Independent Public Appointments Assessors who operated under the previous system. This is the final building block in the major reform of the system of regulation of public appointments which comes into effect at the beginning of April. The new PAAs will support a new Code of Practice which introduces a lighter-touch, principles-based regulatory regime for public appointments.

Our main task will be to chair the interview panels for quangos. It's part time and not onerous.I am stepping down from my role on the Commonwealth Civil Society Committee in June and will be at my last meeting of the committee this week. And today I'm at a training course for my new role. I have to admit I rather like interviewing and it's a core role for any CEO. Good to see that a number of the new appointments are from the third sector , particularly my old colleague from Leonard Cheshire, John Knight.

I am indebted to search guru and head hunter to the sector stars David Fielding of attenti for pointing out this opportunity. He was himself an independent assessor for public appointments for a decade and told me I should offer myself. Good advice David!

And in case you want to know the full list of the new guardians of public appointments ;

Mark Addison

Sarah Anderson

Sir Stephen Bubb

Cindy Butts

Olivia Grant

Michael Kaltz

John Knight

Sara Nathan

Dame Anne Pringle

Margaret Scott

Amerdeep Somal

Sir Peter Spencer

Rosie Varley

Libby Watkins


Sir Robin Bogg said...

You really couldn't make this up could you?

Dan Filson said...

Goodness, I know and have met three of the names listed (though how well they - or at least one of them - remember me is another matter). Does that make me part of the Establishment? Seriously, if a low-ranking Londoner like me can be in this position, it suggests a London-bias or something similar. The sad fact is that governments can and do appoint whom they want, and have a tendency to reproduce themselves on the bodies to whom they appoint. I was quite struck to see that a fairly pivotal post in HMRC had gone to someone whose previous was that of a high quality City law firm. I have no problem with some civil service posts going to people from outside the loop to bring in fresh perspectives, but clearly here was a case where the benefits of the latter had been allowed to dominate over the need for a deep- seated knowledge of the issues and challenges involved in the post. If this body is to do more than just prevent the appointment of modern equivalents to Caligula's horse, they should have the bottle to query assumptions behind appointments that appear to overdo the bringing in of 'people from outside' and the like.