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Senior government officials to face questions over Charity Commission Chair appointment

7 January 2022

Commissioner for Public Appointments William Shawcross faces MPs along with senior officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport following the Committee’s criticism of the handling of a number of high-profile public appointments.

DCMS officials are likely to be questioned on the process leading up to the appointment of Martin Thomas as Chair of the Charity Commission following his resignation from the role within days. Committee Chair Julian Knight has criticised the Department for failing to follow proper processes.

The Committee has previously raised concerns about the need for fairness and transparency in the appointments process after names for the Chair of the BBC and Chair of Ofcom were promoted in the media. Questions to the Commissioner are expected to address this issue, as well as the need for greater diversity of candidates. Further questions are expected for DCMS officials on the ongoing process to appoint a new Chair of Ofcom.


Tuesday 11 January, 

Panel 1, from 10am 

  • William Shawcross CVO, Commissioner for Public Appointments

Panel 2, from approx. 11.00:

  • Sarah Healey, Permanent Secretary, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Polly Payne, Director General, Culture, Sport and Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Gemma Brough, Deputy Director, Public Bodies, Appointments, Honours & Awards, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Further information

Image: Crown copyright