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Former public appointments watchdog to be questioned by MPs

13 May 2022

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee will take evidence from the recently retired Commissioner for Public Appointments, Sir Peter Riddell, as part of its inquiry into the regulation of standards in British public life in light of the Greensill lobbying revelations.

The process for several high-profile appointments has attracted criticism recently, such as the search for the new Chair of Ofcom, which was re-run after Ministers’ preferred candidate Paul Dacre was unsuccessful, and the Chair of the Charity Commission, which was criticised for a lack of diversity in the shortlist. Sir Peter has expressed his concern that some Ministers have sought unwarranted influence in the appointments process. He said “Ministers are in a strong, even dominant, position in public appointments but some are now seeking to tilt the process even further to their advantage.”

MPs are expected to probe the former Commissioner’s views on the current balance between ministerial discretion and merit-based requirements for appointments as well as the case for stronger powers for the Commissioner. The Commissioner’s role exists to ensure that due process is followed for appointments to key posts in public bodies, such as regulators, and to act as an advocate for a diversity of candidates.

Witness

Tuesday 17 May in Committee Room 16

At 10:00am

  • Rt. Hon Sir Peter Riddell CBE, former Commissioner for Public Appointments

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright