1.The term of office of the current Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), Sir Ian Kennedy, expires on 31 May 2016. The Chair of the Board of IPSA is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, following an Address from the House of Commons. The Speaker of the House of Commons is required to select the Chair “on merit, [and on] the basis of fair and open competition”, and the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA must approve the candidate selected by the Speaker before the motion for an Address can be made. In practice Mr Speaker chooses to consult and involve the Speaker’s Committee throughout the appointment process.
2.This report provides information about the procedure followed during the selection of the next Chair of the IPSA. The Committee would like to express its thanks and appreciation to Sir Ian for the work he has done establishing and chairing IPSA since its inception.
3.Although this is not a Ministerial appointment, the Speaker has had regard to the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies. In order to assist with identifying possible candidates for the post the Speaker, in November 2015, appointed the following independent Panel to conduct the initial sifting and interview of candidates:
On this occasion the Panel was asked to provide Mr Speaker with the names of one or more candidates who they believed were appointable to the role. It was agreed that Mr Speaker would then meet with the appointable candidates and select one candidate to go forward for appointment. The Speaker’s Committee also decided that it would meet with the candidate selected by Mr Speaker before deciding whether to approve the appointment.
4.As with previous appointments to the IPSA, funding was provided to support the use of recruitment consultants, who were appointed under the House Service’s framework agreement, which was awarded following a competitive tender.
5.The Panel considered and noted the job description and person specification which had been agreed by Mr Speaker and the Speaker’s Committee, and agreed to the contents of the recruitment pack.
6.The post was publicly advertised and the Panel approved the text of an advertisement. The Panel was advised by GatenbySanderson that web-based advertisement, in conjunction with the active search by the consultants, represented the best option to source a strong field. The Panel agreed that the advertisement should appear in the following media:
7.A total of 29 applications were received. All applicants were required to submit a CV and a supporting statement demonstrating how they met the requirements for the role. The Panel met on 8 February 2016 to consider a report from the recruitment consultants and agreed to longlist eight candidates for a preliminary interview with the search consultants. The Panel met again on 22 February 2016 to consider the outcome of these preliminary interviews and agreed to shortlist four candidates for interview.
8.The interviews took place on 3 March 2016. All candidates were questioned on the same areas relevant to the role and all were assessed on how they met the essential criteria for the role. The Panel found that one candidate met the requirements and was appointable to the role: Ruth Evans. Mr Speaker met Ms Evans on 10 March and decided to recommend her appointment to the Speaker’s Committee. The Committee met Ms Evans on 15 March and approved her name going forward to the House for appointment.
9.The Speaker and the Committee are entirely satisfied that the selection process was rigorous and that the Panel discharged its duties conscientiously and with all due regard to the requirements of thoroughness, fairness and propriety. We are grateful to Dame Denise and her fellow panel members.
10.The recommended candidate is Ruth Evans. Ms Evans has held a number of senior non-executive positions in both the public and private sector. She was the first Chairman of the Bar Standards Board; has been a non-executive Director of the National Audit Office where she chaired the Remuneration Committee; and was Deputy Chair of the Ofcom Consumer Panel. Currently she is a non-executive Director at the Serious Fraud Office, Chair of the Payments Strategy Forum, and a Non Executive Commissioner at the Police Complaints Commission. She has recently left the CPP Group PLC where she was a senior non-executive director and Chair of the Remuneration Board. A copy of her CV can be found at Appendix B.
11. Appointments to the IPSA are made by Her Majesty on an Address from the House of Commons. The Committee invites the House to approve the appointment of Ruth Evans as the Chair of IPSA for the period from 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2021.
1 See Appendix A for the job description and person specification that were included in the pack
Prepared 16 March 2016