Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State, to call for the Chairs of the Low Pay Commission, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and a range of other DBEIS public-body positions to be subject to BEIS Committee pre-appointment hearings.
The Chair of the Low Pay Commission is currently being advertised but is not at present included in the list of posts which are subject to BEIS Committee pre-appointment hearings. The BEIS Committee’s letter to the Secretary of State calls for the posts of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement, the Pubs Code Adjudicator and the Small Business Commissioner to also be subject to pre-appointment hearings. Subject to the outcome of the Kingman Review, the Committee also sets out its expectation of holding a pre-appointment hearing for the next Chair of the Financial Reporting Council.
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said:
"Parliamentary scrutiny of the Government’s preferred candidates for a wider range of posts in DBEIS public bodies will help to ensure public confidence in these appointments. As Andrew Tyrie told us during his recent hearing for the Chair of the CMA, the opportunity to receive the endorsement of Parliament would buttress them in their role.
The BEIS Committee agrees with the Government that provision of good work is an essential part of a successful industrial strategy. Having the backing of Parliament as well as Government would be of considerable benefit to an incoming Chair of the Low Pay Commission. I hope the Secretary of State takes this opportunity to ensure greater Parliamentary scrutiny of these important public roles."
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee are currently undertaking an inquiry into pre-appointment hearings.
The BEIS Committee has also published correspondence with Andrew Tyrie, the Government’s preferred candidate for the post of the post of Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), on his elevation to the House of Lords and on whether he intends to take the Conservative whip during his time as Chair of the CMA. [Andrew Tyrie’s response is available here ( PDF 146 KB)].
Following a pre-appointment hearing on Tuesday 24 April, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee endorsed Andrew Tyrie for the post of Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The Committee’s pre-appointment hearing report includes a series of recommendations relating to the importance of political impartiality, the need for regulators to ensure they are assertive in fulfilling their responsibilities, and the challenge which Brexit poses for the CMA and the competitions and markets regime.
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