Select Committee on Public Administration Fourth Report


51. Appointments to tribunals form a significant proportion of the appointed state. Overall, tribunal appointments account for almost half of public appointments in England.[20] Our figures for NDPBs, set out in Table 2, do not include tribunals classified as NDPBs, all of which fall outside OCPA's remit. There are 617 such tribunals, with 11, 572 members (of whom 617 are chairs and 419 are deputy chairs), according to Public Bodies 2002. Tribunal NDPBs fulfil a quasi-judicial function and are as such close to the judicial system. Those appointments that the Lord Chancellor currently recommends or makes—chair persons, legal and non-legal (such as medical or lay) members of tribunals—fall within the scope of the Commission for Judicial Appointments. However, tribunal appointments for which other ministers are responsible are not regulated. The Leggatt Report on tribunals, currently out for consultation, recommended that the Lord Chancellor should take over these appointments from other ministers; they would then fall within the scope of the Commission for Judicial Appointments.[21]

52. The situation has been changed by the recent announcement on judicial appointments, which envisages the establishment of an independent and statutory appointments commission, sponsored by the new Department for Constitutional Affairs. We hope that, under the new arrangements for judicial appointments, the logic of the recommendations of the Leggatt Report as they apply to tribunal appointments will be applied.

53. We therefore recommend that the new independent Judicial Appointments Commission should assume responsibility for tribunal appointments currently made by ministers.

"Most of them think it is a fix"—public confidence in the appointments process

54. We turn next to the issue of the integrity of the public appointments process and to the degree of public confidence that it inspires. There is no doubt that a cloud continues to hang over the public perception of the process. Several witnesses did tell us that they believed public confidence in the probity of public appointments had recently increased.[22] However, a MORI poll carried out on behalf of OCPA in 2000 found that the public held "very vague—but overwhelmingly negative—impressions" of how the appointments process operated. For instance, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of those who said that they "knew at least a little" about the ministerial appointments process believed that appointments were "politically influenced", more than one in four (28 per cent) thought them "bureaucratic" and one in ten (10 per cent) agreed that they were "corrupt".[23]

55. We heard other evidence that pointed in the same direction. The broadcaster Fi Glover, became convinced after several programmes on public appointments that most people "just do not think it is for them". She said: "There is this idea that somewhere there is a group of people who always go on committees, they all know each other, it is definitely a kind of old boys' network". She was astounded at the lack of audience response to her programmes.[24] Julia Middleton, chief executive of Common Purpose, an organisation which tries to increase participation in public life, who is herself an independent assessor, summarised for us the perceptions of some 12,000 people who had been on her organisation's programmes designed to promote wider access to public appointments:

"Firstly, they have no idea what public appointments are, what the scope or what the system is strikes them as deeply non-transparent. Most of them think it is a fix. Most people sit back and say, 'It couldn't possibly be me, absolutely not'".[25]

56. She added that most people believed that "you wait to be approached" for a public appointment and that "there is a deep conviction that there is not much point in doing it anyhow, because nothing is going to change".[26]

57. Julia Middleton's evidence suggested that public unease about public appointments and possible abuse of the system extends beyond concerns about alleged partisan cronyism. The radical television comedian, Mark Thomas, spoke of the perception in some quarters that members of public bodies "use these committees to advance their own careers". He went on: "Whether there is actual corruption on it, I do not know. The point is if you do not come forward and say, 'We are going to be completely open', then you will always be open to those charges".[27]

58. In similar vein, Billy Bragg complained about the absence of accountability in general, posing the question, "How accountable are those people who have political power over us?". Public bodies were a crucial component of accountability. He said:

"Obviously that is the key with patronage—the message it sends to the electorate about their participation in the process is wholly negative. It is saying, 'We do not really care what you think. We are going to put these people in, we know and we trust them, we do not care if you trust them or not… they are going to be people we know from our professional circle'".[28]

Views from public bodies

59. Public perceptions of a closed and opaque system were also reflected in evidence we received from people in official circles. For example, Philip Champ of the NHS Logistics Authority,[29] while acknowledging that the new independent NHS Appointments Commission was a step forward, said that the process for NHS appointments "is still perceived as obscure and secretive". English Heritage[30] identified continuing "cynicism" about patronage, observing that the current process created "the opportunity for impropriety to be perceived". The National Museum Directors' Conference took a similar view, saying[31] that placing the power of patronage in the hands of ministers "lays the system open to accusations of the abuse of power". Suhail Aziz, Chair of the London Probation Board[32] told us that "There is evidence that Nolan principles and the OCPA Code of Practice have been systematically undermined".

Evidence on 'cronyism'

60. We found no evidence of any systematic subversion of Nolan principles and practice, nor of the OCPA Code. More to the point, while the Commissioner's latest annual report describes deficiencies and failures in process, she reports broad progress in terms of compliance with the Code and gives only two examples of what she and we consider to be undue ministerial involvement in making appointments. On one occasion, under the aegis of the National Assembly for Wales, a decision was taken that ministers and officials should meet informally with some possible candidates for a post before it was advertised. In another case, a Treasury minister requested that a particular candidate (who had not applied) should be added to the interview shortlist for a post.[33]

61. However Ivy Cameron, a consultant with experience of employment issues, asserted that "some appointments are openly advertised (albeit in a restricted context) whilst others continue to be a tap on the shoulder"; adding that other candidates may be short listed for reasons of "respectability"[34] Ms Cameron also told us: "I know some trade union officers, for example, who are tapped on the shoulder for particular jobs. I know employers who are tapped on the shoulder".[35]

62. The Commissioner saw the role of the independent assessor as a safeguard against improper pressure from ministers or senior civil servants, as had happened, to place a candidate who was not up to the job 'above the line' (i.e., to be appointed or considered for appointment). She said that if a minister did insist on appointing someone who was not deemed to have the capacity for a post, she would insist that the press release would make it clear that they had not been appointed 'in accordance with my rules' and that the case would be likely to become public in her annual report.[36]

63. A civil servant may also act as a minister's proxy. Dame Rennie told us that independent assessors had reported to her that, if a "Minister is particularly keen on a set of skills and may know one of the names", the senior civil servant involved appeared to "be pushing a particular candidate when there is no evidence to suggest that they have anything better than the others". She added: "That is when the independent assessor must be impartial and independent from that department and say, 'The rest of us do not think this… You are out on a limb'".[37] The Commissioner, however, told us that "in general, I would say that we have a good public appointments system of regulation… and not a great deal would need to be done to change the regulation." Asked whether cronyism had now been banished from the world of public appointments, she replied that cronyism had been "put in a very dark, far-back corner, I would say. I have to make sure that I shine a light in every corner".[38]

Media allegations of 'cronyism'

64. The print media certainly do not hide allegations of 'cronyism' in a very dark, far-back corner. The era of 'sleaze' put issues of 'cronyism' high on the news agenda and the series of reports from the Committee on Standards of Public Life and ensuing reforms since 1995 have not relieved the pressures of intense media attention. Indeed, 'sleaze' and 'cronyism' have become partisan issues between the parties and print media.

65. We suspect that the rhyming appeal of 'Tony' and 'Crony' is too strong for some newspapers to resist, despite the absence of evidence to support many of the allegations. One prominent recent case was the appointment of Trevor Phillips to the chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, which was greeted by a chorus of newspaper allegations of cronyism.[39] Yet Hamish Davidson of the Veredus recruitment agency, who was closely involved in the CRE appointment up to the point at which the appointment panel, made up of relevant officials and independent members, took the process over, gave us a radically different account. He told us that "the process used for the CRE appointment was one of the most rigorous we have done".[40]

66. The difficulty for ministers—the Home Secretary in this case—is that the best they can hope for in any such case is a 'not proven' verdict. By his own admission Mr Davidson was not involved in the initial processes of determining the criteria for the post and his role stopped at the door of the appointments panel. He had no say in the construction of the panel and Dame Rennie's influence was confined to the choice of independent assessor. Neither is privy of course to any private, political or official discussions that may or may not have taken place elsewhere. Thus neither Mr Davidson nor Dame Rennie could give us categorical assurances that cronyism or other abuses are not taking place. This enables allegations to be made, however unfounded.

67. Ministers now find themselves in a half-way house: they can no longer determine appointments in a partial (or even impartial) way as their predecessors once could; yet they retain enough direct involvement in the process to leave them open to allegations of cronyism. This state of affairs harms public confidence in government and politics in this country as well as in any particular government, minister or quango board.

Effect of suspicions on work of public bodies

68. Doubts about the propriety of the appointments process can have serious long-term effects on the work of public bodies. Lord Puttnam, chair of the General Teaching Council,[41] provided a vivid illustration of the problems which the mere perception of cronyism can cause. He told us that opponents of this new professional body had "felt it advantageous both to exaggerate the proportion of Secretary of State appointments and misrepresent their role on Council. The appointees were dismissed at a recent teaching union conference as 'Blair's cronies'. In reality, of the 13 appointments, I am the only one with an affiliation to a political party".[42]

69. Lord Puttnam believed that it would have been preferable if the Secretary of State's appointees could have been typified from the outset as the independently appointed members that they were, instead of being unfairly branded as 'political appointees'.

70. Party political activity or affiliation should not disqualify able people from playing a role on a public body. It is important that candidates who have recently been active on behalf of a political party should declare their activity to ensure that political representation on particular bodies and the appointed state in general is reasonably balanced; and to keep the appointments process transparent. Yet we fear that adverse publicity for the appointments of those who, like Trevor Phillips, have been politically active may harm their capacity to carry out their duties or even deter others from putting their names forward. This would be extremely damaging.

The influence of civil servants

71. If there has been a withdrawal from close involvement by ministers in the appointments process, have senior civil servants simply moved into the patronage vacuum?

72. Civil servants of course service the whole process of public appointments within government departments. Their departments are subject to a three-year rolling programme of audit by OCPA as well as to the OCPA Code of Practice. But there are two significant points in the process when senior civil servants could be said to have the opportunity to exert or inject undue or unchecked influence. First, when they take instructions from the minister on the criteria for an appointment, with any suggestions for potential applicants; and secondly, when they write and make submissions to the minister on the final choice between candidates at the end of the appointment process. In between these two key stages, they play a continuing role. A senior official usually establishes the appointment panel, takes the chair and shares in the interviewing, short-listing and final selection of successful candidates.

73. Julia Middleton, of Common Purpose, said of her experience as an independent assessor for appointments that there were occasions when she protested, 'Look, these are not the rules', only to be informed that, for example, 'there is a waiver on the rules'. She stated:

"…there are whole issues about real consistency and making sure that not just some government departments, but that all government departments, really begin to do what the system says they should do".[43]

74. So how far can civil servants be said to exert a powerful and largely unaccountable influence on the appointment process? Brian Rowntree, the Chairman of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, was in no doubt.[44] He told us that

"The present system gives departments too much power to influence the composition of the body through assessments, short-listing and selection panel membership. Civil servants who are not panel members may have an undue influence, e.g., by expressing their views either privately beforehand or during the selection process. There is a case for a selection process with the emphasis on independence rather than departmental wishes".[45]

75. Some of this concern could be obviated if the independent assessors could share fully in all stages of the process, and especially if it were established that they should be able to check the final submissions that go to ministers. At present, it is established 'best practice', agreed between OCPA and the Cabinet Office, that assessors should have a final look at submissions, but it is not made mandatory under the OCPA Code. Practices therefore vary: some departments do give independent assessors the opportunity to ensure that submissions accurately reflect the views of a panel, others do not.

76. We recommend that independent assessors should be involved in every stage of the appointments process, with full opportunity to ensure that submissions to ministers accurately reflect the views of appointment panels; and that the OCPA Code of Practice should be revised to make this reform mandatory.

77. We have a further, and more general, concern about the potential for unseen influence that the senior civil service can bring to bear on appointments. Despite recent progress on diversity within the Senior Civil Service,[46] there must be questions about the active commitment of officials to widening the net. Public appointees need to be representative and this should include those who can provide the 'grit in the oyster' that should be one of the aims of the public appointments system. We return to this issue in Chapter 3. Here we stress the need to ensure that there is targeted professional training for all civil servants involved in appointments with the aim of ensuring an active commitment to diversity and proper representation.

78. We recommend that all civil servants who play a role in making public appointments should receive appropriate professional training in equal opportunities and appointments procedures.

The role of independent assessors

79. The keystone of good practice and the restraint of undue influences, under the current procedures, is the independent assessor—one of the major innovations introduced through the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. How is this independent contribution to monitoring appointments working out?

80. There are currently two distinct categories of these independent assessors. The first and largest category consists of assessors appointed by government departments themselves. There are some 300 such appointees. The second category is much smaller, and consists of the 22 independent assessors recruited by OCPA to set standards of independence and diversity for Whitehall. The OCPA Central List of Independent Assessors is at the disposal of departments should they choose to use them. The Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc (Scotland) Act 2003 makes provision for the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Scotland to appoint independent assessors.

81. The committee is firmly of the view that the assessors should be truly 'independent': that is to say, they should be entirely separate from the appointing department and should have no vested interest in the outcomes. The Commissioner has revised the OCPA Code to prohibit departments from recruiting independent assessors who hold any kind of departmental position. Yet there is no such prohibition on recruiting former civil servants. This is clearly unsatisfactory and inconsistent. Former officials can naturally offer a great deal of experience to the process of selecting candidates for semi-official posts. On the other hand, they are likely to share implicit assumptions with the departmental civil servants with whom they would work that could influence their assessments. Moreover, there are almost bound to be suspicions, however unjustified, that any appointment of a former civil servant as an independent assessor is in some way evidence of bias. Below we make recommendations designed to secure the independence of formal officials in relation to departments under the aegis of the Commissioner.

82. We recommend that, as soon as is practicable, the Commissioner for Public Appointments should be made solely responsible for appointing and supporting all independent assessors.

83. We recommend that in the meantime the Commissioner should assume responsibility for the recruitment and training of all newly appointed independent assessors; and that all existing assessors should undergo OCPA training.

84. We recommend that the Commissioner should include in her annual reports an account of the processes by which she recruits and trains independent assessors.

The role of recruitment consultants

85. Government departments employ recruitment consultants, or head-hunters, to play various roles: advertising, searching for and sifting applicants, managing the application process, and interviewing and short-listing candidates. Use of these agencies varies, with one of the 30 departments responding to an OCPA review using them more than ten times in the previous year and 14 departments not employing them at all in the same year. Why did departments employ them?

86. We heard conflicting evidence on the value of using head-hunters. On the one hand, Ms Cameron spoke of the "laziness and lack of vision" of recruitment agencies: "They like to get their money as quickly as possible so they do not really want to put too much effort into trawling for meritorious people, so they already have lists which they will refer to. It is a recycling all the time".[48] On the other hand, Hamish Davidson and Ms Alison Cawley, of the leading recruitment agency Veredus, gave impressive evidence of their understanding of OCPA principles and process and the public service ethic.

87. The OCPA review found considerable variety in the quality and experience that consultants supplied. On the one hand, they could provide a "more professional service" than the department, with "longer, more stretching interviews" that gave candidates more opportunity to demonstrate their qualities; often brought greater experience and knowledge to bear; could run 'targeted searches' to identify good quality candidates; could supply administrative mechanisms and recruitment systems; and could even "act as umpires and provide an independent element". On the other hand, they did not always understand the idea of public appointments or the Code; could be casual in their approach; sometimes showed a distinct bias towards "searched candidates"; and "tended to be less scrupulous on openness, fairness and diversity issues than the civil service".[49]

88. We believe that Nolan principles, the OCPA Code and best practice, as recommended by OCPA and the Cabinet Office, should apply just as much when consultants are employed as when any other approach is taken. The process must be fair, open and accessible and lead to the appointment of people who have demonstrated their fitness for the posts that they are chosen to fill. We are not satisfied that this is always the case. We are particularly alarmed to discover that more than half (54 per cent) of departments failed to supply their consultants with the OCPA Code of Practice; and that while 27 per cent of departments asked their consultants if they were aware of the Code, another 27 per cent assumed that they were.[50] Slackness in this area is unacceptable, and the rules need to be tightened.

89. We recommend that prior to a trained OCPA cadre of assessors being introduced, such assessors should be involved alongside consultants in any stages of the appointments process in which they are involved.

90. More broadly, we are not at all convinced that departments are sufficiently thorough and systematic in deciding whether it is appropriate to use recruitment consultants. A more rigorous and methodical approach must be taken, with greater emphasis on proper use of public money and the need to appoint the right person for the job. There should also be an evaluation of the benefits, or otherwise, of using recruitment consultants, in terms of the quality of those recruited and the subsequent performance of public bodies.

91. We therefore recommend that departments should satisfy themselves fully about the expertise and qualities of recruitment consultants who will be involved in any stage of the appointment process; that they should at the outset establish the aims and purposes of the body involved; and that they should then thoroughly brief the consultants on their requirements, the Nolan principles and the OCPA Code. Steps should be taken by the Government to increase the accountability of recruitment consultants and the transparency of the processes by which they are appointed.

92. We also recommend that the Government should undertake research to determine whether the employment of recruitment consultants adds value to the process of public appointments.

A stocktake for the appointments system

93. We are satisfied that solid progress has been made towards fair and open appointments since the Nolan principles were accepted, and that progress continues to be made. However, a variety of evidence, including the instances of slack practice, gaps in communication and avoidable weaknesses in procedure revealed in the OCPA report on the use of consultants, suggests that there is a need for a thorough overhaul of public appointments processes in central government.

94. We believe that our report creates an opportunity for stocktaking. We can learn from the lessons of the past eight years and also from the proposals for parallel appointments jurisdictions in Scotland and Wales. We think that the time has come to insist upon consistent application of the rules governing public appointments across Whitehall and to remove anomalies. In line with the Committee's recommendation, Dame Rennie now specifically names in her annual reports those departments which were not following the Code of Practice, a mandatory code, or best practice. She described this as a "culture shock"[51] to departments who were used to anonymity, but we believe it is a welcome and constructive culture shock.

95. We also consider that the powers and status of the Commissioner and her Office require strengthening. Legislation for the Scottish Commissioner gives the postholder a whistle-blowing role whereby they must report to the Parliament any 'material' non-compliance with the Code of Practice known to but neglected by ministers. Similar powers are needed south of the border.

96. We recommend that the Commissioner for Public Appointments should be given formal whistle-blowing powers to report material non-compliance with the Code of Practice by any department, minister or official. It is for discussion whether the Commissioner should report such breaches to the First Civil Service Commissioner or to another body, such as a Parliamentary committee.

Separation of powers

97. The Scottish legislation also recognises the importance of the separation of their Commissioner's Office from the executive. The funding for the new Scottish Commissioner's Office will be paid for by the Parliamentary Corporation.

98. The Cabinet Office currently funds OCPA and houses the Office. The London staff of eight officials is drawn from officials from the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Cabinet Office and other departments on secondment.[52] We regard this as an unsatisfactory state of affairs that has potential practical consequences. The simple fact that the Commissioner and her Office are funded and serviced from Whitehall creates the impression that she works for and reports to ministers.

99. Just as independent assessors working in different departments should be truly independent of those departments, so too should the Office that assumes overall responsibility for the independence of the process in central government be independent of the executive. The Commissioner recognises that there are advantages in employing officials who are well versed in the ways of government departments, but she has long argued that OCPA should be funded and housed independently of the executive; and that she should have the power to appoint staff permanently.[53] If the Commissioner's office is to be independent of the executive, it should be rooted in Parliament. The Commission should therefore be an officer of Parliament, as one of the key constitutional watchdogs. The appointment should be approved by Parliament and it is to Parliament that the Commissioner should report.

100. We also have concerns about the small size of a staff with responsibility for between 11,000 and 12,000 appointments a year, especially given Dame Rennie's new statutory duty to promote diversity and the work she undertakes to this end. Dame Rennie describes the staffing as "not generous" and says that she "could do a great deal more with more people".[54] We think that she should be enabled to do so. In particular, we believe that OCPA should be sufficiently well-funded to take responsibility for all independent assessors.

101. We recommend that the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments should be funded through the Parliamentary Vote with the Commissioner approved by Parliament and reporting to it, and that the Office should be housed and staffed separately from the executive.

102. We recommend that there should be a review of the staffing needs of OCPA in the light of the Office's current and future responsibilities and of action on other proposals that we make in this report.

Parliamentary oversight

103. Ministers are formally responsible to Parliament for public appointments, but in practice Parliament plays hardly any role in making appointments or supervising public patronage. The most visible attempt to give substance to Parliament's formal responsibilities has come from the Treasury Select Committee. In 1997 that committee announced its intention to hold confirmation hearings to establish whether those nominated to the new Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England fulfilled two criteria: demonstrable professional competence and personal independence of the Government. In the event, the Bank of England Act 1998 did not require such hearings, as committee members had hoped, but the committee has nevertheless held such hearings on a non-statutory basis in the succeeding years.[55]

104. Is there room for greater and more formal Parliamentary involvement in the process of public appointments? And what would be the advantages and disadvantages of the form it might take? The Rt Hon Tony Benn put to us some very radical proposals for such involvement.[56] He argued for the transfer of "all Crown prerogative powers of appointment and patronage" to Parliament; and for the appointment of chairs of public authorities by a select committee after a public hearing as part of an open procedure in which all candidates would be interviewed. Bill Morris, then General Secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union, advocated something similar.[57] He urged that the Committee should consider making nominations, or recommendations for appointments, to public bodies subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and approval. This would, Mr Morris told us, increase the legitimacy of these bodies, allow Parliament to hold ministers to account on their statutory duties on equality, and increase public awareness and acceptance of public bodies.

105. The democratic spirit behind such propositions is admirable, but there are practical and constitutional difficulties. The sheer numbers of chairs and members involved would overwhelm select committees and prevent them from tackling other matters, even if their staffs were vastly expanded. Moreover many of these bodies are specialist in nature and neither Members nor the general public would be well equipped to decide or oversee appointments to them. There is also the issue of whether the scrutiny role is compromised by an involvement in appointments.

106. Further, the risk that appointments could become the subject of intense political or media debate, or political horse-trading, as confirmation hearings sometimes do in the United States, may well deter possible candidates from allowing their names to go forward. In recent months, for example, there has been controversy in the US Senate about the appointment of the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nominations of senior judges are also drawn into controversy, and the Washington Post recently referred (30 April 2003) to "the Senate's increasingly contentious partisan impasse over judicial appointments".

107. The appointment of the Scottish Information Commissioner in December 2002 also became politically contentious. The wide-ranging debate in the Scottish Parliament included the public revelation of the fact that the new Commissioner had been appointed on a majority vote and detailed discussion of the merits of the candidates.[58] We do not criticise the proceedings of another legislature, but simply remark that it would be very hard to square the principles of Nolan with such a discussion.

108. However, notwithstanding this evidence, we believe that there are solid reasons for Parliament to take a more assertive approach to public appointments. This is one of the main prerogative powers enjoyed by ministers, and our thinking on this issue is influenced by the general inquiry we are currently conducting into those powers. We were also influenced by our recent visit to Canada, where Parliamentary committees already have a power to review appointments after they are made but where the perceived inadequacy of this arrangement is now prompting moves towards a more 'confirmatory' role. We see benefits in a more explicit, though still proportionate, role for select committees in key appointments. The aim should be to secure more effective scrutiny of ministers' actions, in a realistic form and without allowing party political considerations to dominate the process.

109. We are therefore attracted to the idea that there should be a requirement for ministers to inform the relevant select committees of the proposed appointee in the case of the most major public appointments. The list of these appointments could be agreed between the minister and the committee, and would confine itself to such 'peak' appointments as the chair of the BBC, industry regulators, and the major watchdogs. The relevant committee would have the right to hold a hearing, if it chose to do so, before the appointment of the candidate was confirmed. We do not propose that the committee would explicitly confirm such appointments, but that in those cases where it was the view of the Committee that a proposed appointee was unsuitable then it should have the power to enter a Letter of Reservation, leading to the competition for the post in question to be reopened. We believe that this approach strikes a sensible balance. We envisage that the committee's new powers would be used only rarely, but they could help to readjust the balance between Parliament and the executive, as well as providing a salutary quality control check for the public appointments system.

110. We therefore recommend that ministers should agree a list of key appointments with relevant select committees and notify them of the names of proposed appointees for these posts as they arise. Committees could decide, if they chose to do so, to hold a meeting with proposed appointees, and would be able to enter a Letter of Reservation as a result of such a hearing in any case where there was a decision to do so. In such circumstances the competition for the post would be re-opened.

20   Supplementary evidence from Dame Rennie Fritchie, PAP B/P 19 Back

21   Tribunals for Users: One System, One Service, report of the Review of Tribunals by Sir Andrew Leggatt, TSO, March 2001 Back

22   Q 1351 Back

23   Fifth Annual Report, 1999-2000 Back

24   Q 463 Back

25   Q 641 Back

26   Ibid. Back

27   Q 317, Mark Thomas gave us additional evidence about the differing standards for the declaration of members' interests and the information on committees' registers of interest and the dangers of possible conflicts of interest. We have already reported on the extent of registers of interest in the previous Committee report, Mapping the Quango State, Fifth Report, HC 367. We have not been able to examine Mr Thomas's information in detail, but the clarity and consistency of interest rules is an issue to which we shall return in a later inquiry. Back

28   Q 89 & 90 Back

29   PAP 19 Back

30   PAP 17 Back

31   PAP 34 Back

32   PAP 35 Back

33   Commissioner for Public Appointments Seventh Report 2001-02 Back

34   PAP 64 Back

35   Q 1214 Back

36   Q 1349 Back

37   Q 17 Back

38   Q 1352 Back

39   Daily Mail, The Sun & The Daily Telegraph, 18 January 2003 Back

40   Q 1274 & 1283 Back

41   PAP 37 Back

42   PAP 37 Back

43   Q 648 Back

44   PAP 48 Back

45   Ibid. Back

46   Cabinet Office Press Release CAB 093/02 Back

47   OCPA Review on working with Recruitment Consultants in the Public Appointments Process: Stage 2: Report, Annex, page 21, March 2003, OCPA Back

48   Q 1226 Back

49   Q1226 Back

50   OCPA Review on Working with Recruitment Consultants in the Public Appointments Process March 2003 Back

51   Q 1371 Back

52   Q 1364 Dame Rennie informed the committee that she also has two officials in Northern Ireland and one in Scotland. Back

53   Q 1368 Back

54   Q 1365 Back

55   The history of these hearings is summarised in the Treasury Select Committee's Ninth Report of Session 2001-02, HC 1189 Back

56   PAP 11 Back

57   PAP 03 Back

58   Scottish Parliament Official Report, 12 December 2002, col 16346 Back

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