The Commissioner for Public Appointments, Sir David Normington, today published his formal response to the consultation on his review of regulation of Ministerial appointments to public bodies and the final version of his new Code of Practice that will govern appointments to public bodies from April 2012.
Sir David said:
“I am today announcing a fundamental reform of the regulatory system for Ministerial appointments to public bodies. I have stripped away over 100 pages of detailed process and rules and focused the whole system on the principles of merit, fairness and openness in public appointments. In simple terms, I want to see a single-minded focus from Ministers and Government Departments on getting the very best people into public roles, appointed from strong and diverse fields of candidates, free of political patronage and cronyism.
“Today’s announcement follows 4 months of consultation on my original proposals. I received over 80 written responses, ranging from brief endorsements of my overall direction of travel to detailed comments on my proposals and the questions set out in the consultation document. During the consultation period I also held further discussions with many of those who have an interest in public appointments and have also benefited from the inquiry conducted by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee. I am very grateful to all those who took the time to respond.
“Overall, the response to my proposals has been very positive indeed. There is clear and unambiguous support from the majority of respondents for my package of reforms: the simpler principles-based Code; more proportionate independent assurance; a reformed compliance and audit process; and improved reporting and transparency of practice.
“I have, therefore, decided to implement the essential elements of the new system as proposed in my consultation document but with some important changes of detail and emphasis, reflecting the comments I have received. The changes will come into effect from 1 April 2012.