Kathryn Bishop appointed as interim First Civil Service Commissioner

Bishop to lead body which regulates civil service appointments

By Suzannah Brecknell

04 Apr 2016

Kathryn Bishop will oversee appointments to the civil service on an interim basis until a permanent appointment is made to the post of first civil service commissioner.

The first civil service commissioner heads the Civil Service Commission, which regulates appointments to the civil service and promotes and hears complaints under the Civil Service Code. The first commissioner also chairs the recruitment panel for permanent secretaries. 

The most recent first civil service commissioner, Sir David Normington, ended his term last week on March 31.

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Bishop, a former management consultant at Accenture who has held senior HR and transformation roles in a number of financial services firms, has been a civil service commissioner since 2012. She has held non-executive roles at the Intellectual Property Office, Border Agency and with the Welsh Government. She is also an associate fellow at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. 

Normington also held the role of Chair for Public Appointments, which regulates top appointments to public bodies, although the Cabinet Office has opted to split the posts in the wake of the Grimstone review of the public appointments process.

The CPA role is currently empty as government’s preferred candidate Peter Riddell awaits formal approval from MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC).

PACAC chair Bernard Jenkin last week said government had not allowed time for sufficient scrutiny when it announced Riddell as preferred candidate shortly before Easter.

Jenkin said: “PACAC will meet on 12th April, both to take oral evidence on Grimstone and then to continue our pre-appointment hearing.

“The government has indicated to me that they accept we received notice of the name of the preferred candidate very late. They will therefore accept that there will be an interregnum, rather than by-pass the pre-appointment process.”

A government spokesperson told CSW: ''Of course, the government agrees that PACAC should have the time they need to fully scrutinise the appointment of the new Commissioner for Public Appointments, and we are working closely with them.''

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