Francis Maude announces review of public appointments watchdog

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude confirms that Standard Life's Sir Gerry Grimstone will review work of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments


By Matt Foster

23 Mar 2015

Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone is to carry out a review of the body tasked with ensuring public appointments are made on merit, it has been announced.

In a written statement published this afternoon, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said Grimstone – who also serves as chair of the banking lobby group CityUK and is lead non-executive board member for the Ministry of Defence – will review the work of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The office – created in 1995 and currently led by Sir David Normington – scrutinises public appointments to ensure that ministers make appointments in line with the principles of “merit, fairness and openness”.

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Announcing the review’s terms of reference, Maude said: “The review’s purpose will be to establish the continuing need for the Office, and to examine its scope of responsibilities.

“In particular the review will consider the Office's role in regulating the processes by which ministers make appointments to the boards of certain public bodies and certain statutory offices. The review’s terms of reference have been placed in the library of the House.

“Sir Gerry will seek input from a wide range of individuals, including current and former ministers, current and former officials and advisers, the government’s non-executive directors, the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, parliament, public bodies and those who have gone through an appointments process. The review will report in the summer.”

Grimstone previously carried out a review of the Civil Service Commission, the separate, independent regulator of Whitehall recruitment. That review found that efforts to ensure the civil service made meritocratic appointments were still lagging behind “best practice in the private sector”. 


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