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Non-executive director appointments


Non-executive directors (NEDs) serve on the boards of Government departments and arm’s-length bodies (ALBs). Their role is to provide challenge and expert advice grounded in experience to management boards and Government ministers.

The Committee’s 2021 report on Government’s delivery through arm’s-length bodies noted controversy around the appointment of NEDs to departmental boards as raising questions about whether the public appointments process is fit for purpose, and concluded that the process does not give confidence that it is efficient, transparent and fair.

In 2023, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) reported that, while many NEDs have added value to departments in several ways, their use is somewhat ad hoc

across Government. The report further highlighted several examples of appointees with seemingly political or personal connections to the Government, and recommended a clear separation between the role of political or personal advisers and that of objective non-executive board members.

Based on a National Audit Office (NAO) review into NED appointments, the Committee will take evidence from Government officials including from the Cabinet Office on subjects including:

  • Challenges in the NED appointment process and actions taken to improve it;
  • Oversight and support for Departments and ALBs in this area;
  • The current picture on the NED population in Government.

 If you have evidence on these issues, please submit it here by 23:59 on Sunday 3 March 2024.

Please look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note that the Committee cannot accept material as evidence that is published elsewhere.

Please note that the Committee is unable to investigate individual cases.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Sunday 3 March 2024.

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  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA