Appointment of lay members

27 January 2011

Three lay members have been appointed

On 26 January 2011 the Commons voted to appoint three lay members of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Dame Janet Gaymer, Elizabeth McMeikan and Sir Anthony Holland

On 26 January 2011 the Commons voted to appoint three lay members of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Dame Janet Gaymer, Elizabeth  McMeikan and Sir Anthony Holland.

Lay members must be appointed to the SCIPSA in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.  This provides that:

  • there should be three lay members;
  • a lay member may not be, or have been, a Member of either House;
  • candidates whose names are put to the House must be selected by the Speaker on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition;
  • appointments are for a fixed term, of up to five years; and
  • a lay member may not be reappointed.

The Act requires that appointments are made by resolution of the House, with the agreement of the Speaker.
The  individuals whose names appear on the motion were selected by the Speaker  on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition, in accordance with the statute. 
The recruitment competition required by the statute was conducted at the Speaker’s request by a Board chaired by the Clerk Assistant, Robert Rogers. The other board members were: Sheila Drew Smith OBE, an independent public appointments assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and a member of the Audit Commission for England; David Prince CBE, a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life and former  Chief Executive of the Standards Board for England and; and Jacqy Sharpe, the Clerk of Committees.

The Board was assisted by a specialist recruitment agency, Saxton Bampfylde, which was employed following a tender exercise in July 2010.
The recruitment process involved stages of advertisement longlisting, shortlisting and interview.  Following final interviews the Speaker met four candidates recommended by the Board, from whom he made his selection.
Details of the candidates named in the motion are as follows:

  • Dame Janet Gaymer  DBE QC (Hon.)  was until the end of 2010 the Commissioner for Public Appointments in England and Wales and First Civil Service Commissioner.  Previously she had worked in the law with Simmons and Simmons, where she was the first woman partner and Senior Partner from 2001-06.
  • Elizabeth (Liz) McMeikan  was formerly the Human Resources and change management director on the main board of Tesco Stores plc.  Since 2000 she has  held non-executive directorships in the private and public sectors.  She served as a Civil Service Commissioner from 2005-2010.  In 2010 she became an independent member of the State Honours Committee.
  • Sir Anthony (Tony) Holland at present holds an appointment in the Office of the Complaints Commissioner of the Financial Services Authority.  Previous roles have included a term as President of the Law Society, Chair of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission, and Chair of the Standards Board for England.

The Speaker determined that the duration of these appointments should be staggered in order to provide continuity for the Committee.  Accordingly, the motion provided that Dame Janet Gaymer should be appointed for five years,  Elizabeth McMeikan for four years and Sir Anthony Holland for three years.  The duration of each appointment reflects the outcome of the recruitment competition.

The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act provides that the remuneration of these posts should be determined by the Speaker. The level of remuneration has been set at £300 per day with the level of commitment required estimated to be around ten days per year. At the Speaker’s direction, and in accordance with the statute, this remuneration will be paid by the IPSA together with reasonable expenses.

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