MoJ appoints new team of non-executives following June shake-up

Three new members join former DfE non-executive Sir Theodore Agnew as Ministry of Justice’s non-executive board

By Sarah.Aston

20 Aug 2015

The Ministry of Justice has completed the overhaul of its non-executive board with the appointment of three new members. 

Liz Doherty, Sir Martin Narey and Lizzie Noel replace former DCMS permanent secretary Dame Sue Street, Disclosure and Barring Service board chairman Bill Griffiths and BNP Paribas non-executive director Fields Wicker-Miurin – all of whom stepped down in June. 

The three will join Sir Theodore Agnew, former non-executive at the Department for Education, as the new non-executive board members for the MoJ.

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The move to replace the entire board has come under scrutiny since the decision was announced in June following Michael Gove’s appointment as justice secretary. 

Dame Sue in particular expressed her concern over the changes, saying the mass shake-up was “not in the spirit of good governance”. 

She told Sky News: "Immediately following the audit committee meeting on June 8th, I tendered my resignation and expressed on the record my unhappiness and my concerns that it produces a discontinuity of external and audit committee levels, which is not in the spirit of good governance.” 

Appearing before the justice select committee in July, Gove defended the decision to replace the entire board, saying he needed to be sure members could provide key support for an “ambitious reform programme”. 

He told MPs: “I wanted to make sure that I have a team of non-executive directors who can help me, ministers and civil servants to achieve a quite ambitious reform programme.

He added: "But… I think it’s important to stress – while different people have different views on this – non-executive directors are ministerial appointments. Some people have tried to argue that non-executive directors are there in effect, to sit on the minister's shoulder and tell him or her off when they are misbehaving. That’s not the role of a non-exec. They are there as ministerial appointments to help the ministers, to help the civil servants, to provide leadership and direction to our reform programme.”

The new team of non-executives are due to attend their first board meeting in September. 

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