As you are aware, schedule 15 to the Legal Services Act 2007 requires the Legal Services Board (LSB) to appoint the Chair of the OLC, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor. Further to my letter dated 17 October 2016, the Lord Chancellor and the LSB are pleased to confirm that the process has concluded and that Wanda Goldwag is the preferred candidate.
This letter provides an overview of the process and Wanda Goldwag’s CV and declaration of interests in preparation for pre-appointment scrutiny by your Committee.
At Annex A, you will find the candidate information pack, which contains the role and person specification recruited to and information about the OLC. At Annex B you will find a copy of the advertisement for the role. Wanda Goldwag’s curriculum vitae and declarations of interest are at Annex C and D respectively.
The recruitment exercise commenced on Friday 11 November 2016, accompanied by a press release by the LSB announcing the opening of the competition. The following websites carried advertisements for the post:
The LSB engaged the services of recruitment consultants, GatenbySanderson, to assist with the process and to undertake search activity to supplement advertising. GatenbySanderson, were briefed to approach a wide range of individuals and to encourage applications from as able and diverse a field as possible.
It is a requirement of the Act that the OLC Chair be a lay person.
A total of 16 applications were received by the time the advertisement closed on 9 December 2016. Nine of the applicants provided diversity monitoring information of which:
As a public appointment, albeit not a Ministerial one regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the process followed the principles of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. This included making sure that the recruitment followed the principles of openness and fairness, that appointments be made on merit; and that at least one independent person sat on the appointment panel. The panel comprised:
Long listing took place on 15 December 2016, and the panel selected eight candidates to proceed to the next stage of the process. GatenbySanderson conducted preliminary interviews with all eight candidates and shortlisting from this field of eight took place on 24 January 2017. The panel selected four candidates for interview and these were held on 3 and 13 February 2017.
Interviews were competency based, focusing on the essential criteria for the role. The candidates started the interview with a short presentation on the topic:
“How would you describe the characteristics of a high performing ombudsman service? If you were Chair, what would be your priorities in the first 6 months of office?”
Questions then covered each area of the essential criteria and any conflicts of interest (political activity declarations and conflicts of interest declarations were completed by each candidate).
The panel’s unanimous conclusion was that one of the candidates, Wanda Goldwag, was well above the appointable standard. The preferred candidate gave a strong and impressive performance, getting straight to the point of answers and demonstrating an intuitive understanding of the challenges facing the OLC. Her performance was enhanced by the breadth of experience she was able to draw upon to illustrate her answers, with an emphasis on innovation.
The LSB considered the report of the appointment panel and confirmed that Ms Goldwag was their preferred candidate for the role of OLC Chair. This decision was conveyed to the Lord Chancellor for approval.
The Lord Chancellor has indicated her approval the appointment of Ms Goldwag, stating that she was pleased to note that the appointments process had followed the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
I hope that this is of assistance, but please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
Annex A: OLC Chair candidate information pack
Annex B: OLC Chair advertisement
Annex C: Wanda Goldwag’s CV
Annex D: Conflict of interests’ declaration
7 These annexes are included in this report as Appendices D to G
23 March 2017