Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Pre-Appointment Hearings inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published.

Report published


Scope of the inquiry

Since 2008 the Government's preferred candidate for certain important public appointments have been subject to pre-appointment hearings with the relevant Select Committee prior to Ministers confirming the appointment. Since the current process was agreed the 2016 "Grimstone reforms" increased Ministers's powers in making appointments and reduced the role of the independent Commissioner of Public Appointments. There have also been several contentious hearings when Committees have recommended against Minister's appointments. This inquiry is therefore asking whether the principles and practice underpinning Pre-Appointment hearings need to be updated to reflect developments since 2008.

The Committee welcomes submissions on:

  • The implications of the weakening of the formal powers of the Commissioner of Public Appointments following the Grimstone Review for the purposes and practice of pre-appointment hearings;
  • Whether Parliamentary procedure should be strengthened to ensure that prior to confirming an appointment despite a negative Committee report that Ministers properly consider the Committee's recommendation and account to Parliament for their decision to set it aside? 
  • Whether the list of appointments subject to pre-appointment hearings should be updated or expanded? and
  • How the pre-appointment hearing process can contribute to increasing the diversity of public appointments?
Terms of reference: Pre-Appointment Hearings

Publications

Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the Pre-Appointment Hearings inquiry.

 

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