The Commissioner for Public Appointments

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The Commissioner’s Role

The Commissioner’s functions

Under the Royal Charter the Commissioner is asked to appoint an Appointments Committee which in turn will make the appointments to the Board of the Recognition Panel. The Charter requires that the appointment is conducted in a fair and open way and that the appointments are made on merit. The Charter also gives the Commissioner a role in validating that any future appointments made to the Board of the Recognition Panel have also been made in a fair and open way and on the basis of merit. The Charter allows the Commissioner’s office to support the work of the Appointments Committee.

The Government has asked the Commissioner to take on these additional functions because he is appointed by the Queen and is independent of Government, and because he enforces the same principles of fairness, openness and appointment on merit in relation to public appointments as are required by the Royal Charter in relation to appointments to the Board of the Recognition Panel.

The Public Appointments Order in Council 2015 sets out the functions of the Commissioner. As these appointments will not be public appointments they would not fall under the Commissioner’s ordinary remit. However, the Order in Council provides a mechanism by which the Commissioner can be given additional functions relating to any appointments (i.e. not just public appointments). This involves a Minister writing asking him to take on additional functions, and for him to respond agreeing to the request (see the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport’s letter to the Commissioner and his response).


The Government has agreed to provide the Commissioner’s office with funding to enable it to support the Appointments Committee in carrying out its functions in relation to paragraphs 1-3 of Schedule 1 to the Royal Charter.  The funding will be within the ranges set out below, which reflect the Commissioner’s office’s assessment of what will be required:-

  • Advertising and executive search – £80,000 to £205,000
  • Other appointment process expenses – £29,000 to £45,000
  • Commissioner’s office resources – £161,000 to £169,000

The expenditure will be accounted for in the published annual accounts of the Civil Service Commission, the independent executive Non Departmental Public Body which provides secretariat support to the Commissioner. In addition, a summary of Royal Charter-related expenditure will be published on this website.