The Commissioner for Public Appointments

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Peter Riddell

Welcome to the website for the Commissioner for Public Appointments. My role is to act as the guardian of the processes used by Ministers (Ministers of the Crown and Welsh Ministers) to make appointments to the Boards of public bodies.

Public bodies take decisions on a daily basis which affect every aspect of our lives: the price of gas and electricity, the quality of our hospitals and schools, standards and ethics in public life; the quality and availability of sports, arts and culture. It is in all our interests, as citizens, that those appointed to serve on public bodies are skilled, experienced and understand the public they serve. They should be recruited from a diverse range of backgrounds. For competitions that commenced before 1st January 2017, the Commissioner’s Code of Practice set out the principles that all Government departments had to follow to ensure the process of appointment was fair and open and that those appointed were selected on merit.

In March 2015 the Government commissioned a review of the way appointments are made to public bodies and published a response to the review’s recommendations in April 2016. I worked closely with the Government, Parliament and other interested groups on the proposed changes explained below in my statement of 16 December.  The resulting Governance Code was published by the Government on that date and came into operation on 1st January 2017.  All public appointments which I regulate are now made under the Governance Code.

This website provides further information on the role of Commissioner including annual reports, statistics and information on how to make a complaint about a public appointment.

If you are interested in applying for a public appointment, current vacancies are advertised on the and Public Appointments pages.

Peter Riddell

 *******************  16 December 2016 *****************

Statement from Peter Riddell, Commissioner for Public Appointments, on the publication of the Government’s new governance code on ministerial appointments to public bodies:
‘I welcome the publication of the Government’s new code. It marks the start of a new and different structure for the regulation of Ministerial appointments to the boards of public bodies.
I have had constructive discussions with Ministers and officials as they have developed the Code over the last few months. They have not accepted every suggestion but they have made a number of important changes, notably to reinsert fairness in the list of guiding principles and the commitment to consult me both about the appointment of Senior Independent Panel Members to assessment panels and about cases where exemptions are sought from holding competitions to make appointments.
I believe that the real test for the new arrangements will be how they are interpreted by Ministers –to preserve the balance between their right to be fully involved in the process and to take the key decisions, while ensuring that appointments are made on the basis of merit with candidates being judged on a fair and equal basis.
Transparency will be a central means of monitoring the performance of departments and I strongly welcome the new web tracker which will allow the public to view the timetable of the key stages of how a competition is progressing and the details of the appointment panels.
It will inevitably take time for the new rules and procedures to bed down across Whitehall. As Commissioner I intend to monitor developing practice, speaking up publicly and informing parliamentary committees where I have serious concerns. In particular, I will be supporting the efforts of government to attract and appoint a more diverse field of candidates to these important posts’
Note:  The Governance Code came into into force on 1st January 2017.  Competitions which have already commenced will continue until their conclusion under the 2012 Code of Practice.


Latest News

09 February 2017                                                                                                                                    The Commissioner blogs on the importance of keeping proper statistics

08 February 2017                                                                                                                                     Commissioner’s letter to Chris Skidmore MP about diversity

10 January 2017
Commissioner’s statement following the announcement of new BBC Board Chair

1 January 2017
The Governance Code and the Public Appointments Order in Council come into effect

16 December 2016
The Commissioner writes the first in what will be a regular series of blogs

16 December 2016
Statement from the Commissioner following publication of Governance Code

16 December 2016
The Government has published its Governance Code for Public Appointments

26 October 2016
Annual Report and BBC Board Appointments

15 September 2016
Commissioner’s statement on the draft BBC Charter

18 August 2016
Public Appointment Statistics for 2015-16

17 August 2016
Publication of Statistical Bulletin

20 July 2016
2016 Order in Council

07 July 2016
The Commissioner comments on the PACAC report “Better Public Appointments?: The Grimstone Review on Public Appointments”

29 June 2016
Commissioner writes to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

12 May 2016
Commissioner’s statement – Government publication of BBC White Paper

20 April 2016
Peter Riddell confirmed as Commissioner for Public Appointments

14 April 2016
Update on appointment of Commissioner for Public Appointments

18 March 2016
Sir David Normington sets out his concerns about proposed changes to the system of Public Appointments

17 March 2016
Sir David Normington welcomes Peter Riddell as the Government’s preferred candidate to become Commissioner for Public Appointments

11 March 2016
Sir David Normington’s response to the Review and the Government’s written statement.

11 March 2016
Publication of the Review of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and Government statement.

21 January 2016
Recruitment of a new Commissioner for Public Appointments.




Civil Service Commission website
Code of Practice (PDF, 203 kb)