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Reforming public appointments 1.22 MB

Drawing on around 30 conversations and a private roundtable with people working in the system, the paper finds that the level of interest in appointments from 'No.10' has been much higher since Boris Johnson became prime minister, that appointments processes often start too late and take too long, and that as a result, public bodies struggle to fill key positions in a timely way.

This report proposes reforms that would both address the controversies that hit the headlines and improve the day-to-day processes for recruiting high quality leaders for the UK's national institutions.

Key recommendations:

  • regulate all ministerial appointments and publicly explain any exceptions, such as short term unpaid roles
  • limit ministerial decision-making to the start and end of an appointment process
  • subject appointments to roles that scrutinise the actions of politicians to a veto from the relevant House of Commons select committee
  • remove ministers’ ability to appoint a candidate judged unappointable by an assessment panel
  • collect and publish data on the causes of delays to enable those responsible to be held to account.
  • appoint a chief talent officer, within the Cabinet Office, to ensure the best candidates are identified.
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