The work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission - Justice Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Justice


  As you know, the Chairman and senior officials of the Criminal Cases Review Commission gave evidence at a session of the Justice Committee on 10 March.

  At that session the Chairman, Sir Alan Beith, asked Richard Foster, Chairman of the Commission, to write to him outlining what happened to his remuneration when his post reverted from full time to part time.

  I hope that you will agree that it is more appropriate for me to write on this topic as the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 provides for Ministers to set the level of the Chairman's remuneration and this Division oversaw the arrangements for settling Richard Foster's remuneration.

  The appointment was originally managed by the Commission's previous sponsors, the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The information pack sent to applicants was silent about the provision of pension. When Richard Foster was offered the post, it was clear that there was a misunderstanding about the exact level of salary to be paid. Mr Foster was also aware of the salary that had been paid to his predecessor, Professor Zellick, and that his post (and that of other Commissioners) was pensionable. We consulted the Independent Assessor of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments-who oversaw the recruitment of Mr Foster-about whether we could offer a salary other than that advertised. OCPA confirmed that, given the flexibility in setting remuneration allowed to departments, they had no concerns.

  To better enable him to familiarise himself with the work of the Commission and to identify the key challenges that he will face, we agreed that he might work on a full time basis until 31 January 2009. Needless to say, Mr Foster received the full time salary in respect of these three months and reverted to the part time pro rata equivalent on 1 February.

  I appreciate that the salary offered to Mr Foster is higher than the salary at which the post was advertised. However, we were mindful of the need to offer Mr Foster a package that reflected the demands of the post and his experience as well as the need for his salary to offer value for money to the public purse and be affordable to the Commission.

  I hope you agree that in appointing Richard Foster as Chairman, we have secured, for the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an outstanding public servant who is best placed to meet the many challenges the Commission faces in the coming years.

Pat Lloyd

Head of Sponsorship and Performance Unit

March 2009

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