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News and Blog

Pre-Valedictory speech to the UCL Constitution Unit on Public Appointments

Thursday 29 April 2021

Public appointments matter since arms length bodies are responsible for running, regulating or advising on large swathes of British life – from national museums and galleries via prisons, charities, social mobility and human rights to scientific research and the NHS. My role as Commissioner for Public Appointments over the past five years has been to […]

Five years on from Grimstone

Tuesday 20 April 2021

It is five years this spring since the publication of Gerry (now Lord) Grimstone’s review of the public appointments process – which coincided with my nomination as the independent Public Appointments Commissioner. A comparison of the Grimstone analysis and what has happened since then reveals some disappointed hopes but also that many of the inherent, and […]

Rates of pay – or no pay – for public appointments deter some groups from applying says Public Appointments Commissioner, Peter Riddell

Thursday 25 March 2021

A review of pay rates for public appointments made in 2019 – 2020 has been published today showing remuneration is inconsistent and variable, with over half of public appointments receiving no remuneration at all. Publishing his thematic review, Peter Riddell said: “One of my main objectives as Commissioner for Public Appointments has been to seek […]

Letter to Education Committee Chair, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP

Thursday 28 January 2021

The Commissioner for Public Appointments has written to the Chair of the Education Select Committee, Robert Halfon MP, regarding the appointments process to find the next Chair of Office for Students. Letter to Robert Halfon MP 28 January 2021 (PDF, 160KB)  

Letter to DCMS Committee Chair, Julian Knight MP

Wednesday 6 January 2021

The Commissioner for Public Appointments has written to the Chair of the DCMS Select Committee, Julian Knight MP, regarding the government’s preferred candidate for BBC Chair. Letter to Julian Knight MP 6 January 2021 (PDF, 635KB)

The power of mentoring

Friday 11 December 2020

All public bodies have faced unexpected and demanding new challenges in 2020, coping with the direct impact of Covid and  finding new ways of working. But the pandemic has also sharpened longstanding arguments about the importance of diversity and representation in all walks of public life. Speaking to members of the Public Chairs Forum and […]

Public bodies are leading the way

Thursday 26 November 2020

Public bodies are leading the way. For the first time, women account for more than half, 51 per cent, of all new public appointments and reappointments, and ethnic minorities over 15 per cent, in both cases ahead of the Government’s targets on overall appointees in post. These figures are also well above what has been […]

COVID-19 and Public Appointments

Thursday 4 June 2020

I have been very sympathetic to requests by departments to freeze competitions and to extend the tenure of current incumbents, or to make temporary interim appointments, and my office has speedily processed such submissions. There are several reasonable factors. In some cases, key officials involved in appointments or in interviewing have been transferred into direct […]

Cindy Butts advises on what it means to be a Senior Independent Panel Member (SIPM)

Wednesday 13 May 2020

During a sit down with OCPA, Cindy explains the purpose and objectives of Senior Independent Panel Members,  how they provide assurance to the system, and what that means for people applying to, and ministers making, public appointments. A transcript for Cindy’s video all our SIPMs is available. Cindy also has information and tips for candidates […]

Senior Independent Panel Members and public assurance

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Under the Cabinet Office Governance Code, every appointment must have an independent member involved in the process, but for what are known as ‘significant appointments’, commonly those where the post is high profile, notably the chair of a body, a regulator or prominent office holder, there must be  a Senior Independent Panel Member (SIPM) to […]