Appointment of the Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Contents
Appendix 1: Role description and person specification
About the role
Being Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is a role like no other and now is an exciting time to join an organisation that is embarking on a major programme of transformation, with a real desire to put customer service at the forefront of its regulatory functions.
IPSA’s mission is to enable MPs to focus on what really matters by providing an exemplary, seamless regulatory service, underpinning its purpose of supporting democracy with great service, fair rules and wise spending.
Its purpose, mission and values are all newly defined through extensive internal and external engagement and IPSA have recently secured additional funding through the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA (SCIPSA) to deliver its new 3-year Corporate Plan.
This plan is ambitious. It requires cultural change, technological improvements and end-to-end system and process redesign but must be delivered alongside IPSA’s existing day to day operations, which with only 100 staff is a significant ask.
IPSA needs a Chair who can support a substantially new executive leadership team on an exciting but challenging journey in which media interest is never far away and powerful stakeholders need careful, tailored engagement to allow it the space to improve.
The Chair of IPSA plays a pivotal role in the leadership of the organisation. In particular, the Chair:
- Provide leadership of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority;
- Establish with the Board the strategic direction of IPSA and ensure compliance with IPSA’s statutory duties;
- Chair meetings of IPSA’s Board;
- Work closely with the Chief Executive to maintain strategic direction and monitor performance;
- Play an active role in the appointment, oversight and review of performance of other Board Members, the Compliance Officer and the Chief Executive; and
- Represent IPSA in public, in the media, before parliamentary committees, and with MPs and parliamentary officials.
Remuneration: £700 per day
Time commitment: around 2 days a week.
Length of term: up to five years.
- The Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 states that the Chair and Members of IPSA (other than a designated Parliamentary member) cannot have been a member of the House of Commons at any time within the last five years.
- The Chair may not occupy paid party political posts or hold particularly sensitive or high roles in a political party, nor engage on specific political activities or matters directly affecting the work of IPSA. Further details are included in the IPSA Code of Conduct for Members.
CTC security clearance is required.
Role of the board
IPSA’s Board provides the strategic leadership of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, safeguarding its independence, acting as an advocate for its values and delivering its objectives: meeting its statutory duties; helping to restore confidence in Parliament; and providing efficient and cost-effective administration of services which meet the needs of taxpayers, MPs and their staff.
The Board ensures that IPSA exercises its statutory obligations, including:
- the review and setting of MPs’ salaries;
- the review and development of the MPs’ pensions scheme;
- the operation and review of the MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses Scheme.
The Board sets the strategic priorities for IPSA as an organisation ensuring it is efficient, cost-effective and fit for purpose and delivers its objectives. In doing so, the Board:
- Contributes to the development and articulation of IPSA’s vision, values, strategies and plans, and shares, champions and demonstrably lives the values;
- Sets the policy framework for MPs’ costs and allowable expenses;
- Oversees the development of, and approves, a Corporate Plan, Annual Report and Estimate of IPSA’s use of resources; and
- Sets the risk appetite and approves the framework of internal controls in support of the achievement of IPSA’s strategic objectives.
The Board also:
- Reviews and approves the Scheme for MPs’ business costs and expenses and assesses and ensures compliance with Scheme rules;
- Determines the salaries to be paid to Members of Parliament, including mechanisms for review and up-rating of salaries;
- Scrutinises the performance of the organisation in meeting its objectives and holds the Executive to account for their delivery;
- Determines and reviews the procedures used by the Compliance Officer;
- Proposes and, from time to time, revises a code of conduct for Members of IPSA’s Board; and
- Appoints and determines the terms and conditions of the Chief Executive.
The Standing Orders of the IPSA Board can be found here.
It is essential that your application demonstrates evidence of achievement in the areas listed below as far as you are able to. These will be used to assess the suitability of candidates to take forward to the long listing stage of the process. They will then be explored further with candidates invited to interview.
- An experienced, senior leader, credible at board level, with a proven ability to set direction, ensure delivery and engage stakeholders.
- The ability to work collaboratively and effectively with a senior non-executive team in a high-profile environment using persuasion and influence to further develop and improve board performance.
- The ability to operate effectively as a non-executive to support and hold to account an executive team, and to develop a strong working relationship with the chief executive.
- The ability to lead strategically a customer-focussed organisation in an operationally intense environment, which attracts public opinion and media scrutiny, without compromising independence.
- The ability to lead an organisation successfully through all stages of organisational change.
- The ability to maintain personal integrity, independence and resilience in the face of conflicting demands and public pressure.
- Evidence of political awareness and a track record of successfully managing and influencing relations with a diverse range of interested parties, with tact and absolute discretion.
- A demonstrable understanding of regulation and the role of the regulator, within either the public or the private sector.
- Evidence of valuing and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- An appreciation of the challenges of supporting diverse and geographically dispersed employers (MPs) and their workforce.
- The ability to think clearly and exercise sound judgement, grasping complex issues quickly.
- The ability to communicate and explain decisions to the public through the media.
- The ability to command the confidence of the public, MPs of all parties and their staff, and a commitment to the seven principles of public life.