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Scrutiny of public appointments by select committees

16 June 2011

The Commons Liaison Committee takes evidence today on "pre-appointment hearings". Select committees began holding "pre-appointment hearings" with the Government's nominees for key public appointments in 2008

Reviewing the "experiment", in its final report of the last Parliament, the Liaison Committee recommended "that a list of criteria governing the posts subject to pre-appointment hearings be established and a revised list of such posts agreed between the Government and the Liaison Committee and that a revised set of guidelines on the nature and purpose of pre-appointment hearings be agreed between the Cabinet Office and the Liaison Committee". 

These recommendations followed a research project commissioned jointly by the Liaison Committee and the Cabinet Office conducted by the Constitution Unit of UCL.

In its response to these recommendations, the Coalition Government announced that it was committed to strengthening the powers of select committees to scrutinise major public appointments.

The Liaison Committee is now considering how to take these proposals forward, and what changes might be made to the agreement between it and the Government on the scope and nature of pre-appointment hearings.

On 16 June the Committee will hear evidence from the Institute for Government (which also published a recent report on pre-appointment hearings) from the Constitution Unit, UCL, and from Rt Hon. Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office.



  • Lord Adonis and Akash Paun, Institute for  Government; and Professor Robert Hazell and Peter Waller, The Constitution Unit, UCL


  • Rt Hon. Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, and officials.

The session is being held in the Boothroyd Room in Portcullis House and is expected to last an hour and a half.

The Liaison Committee is made up of 33 Chairs of Select Committees.

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