Written evidence from DEFRA (NED09)

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

The Role of Non-Executive Directors in Government inquiry



The roles and activities of non-executives 

  1. The lead non-executive director provides a report on the work of the department and the contributions of the non-executive directors which is published annually in Defra’s annual reports and accounts. 


  1. Non-executive directors attend Board meetings, we publish summary Board minutes on gov.uk – these were last published July 2019; we are preparing to publish the minutes since then in due course. 


Experience and expertise 

  1. Biographies of the non executive directors detailing their relevant experience and expertise are available on gov.uk: Our governance - Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 


The appointments process 

  1. All non-executive board member appointments follow an open and transparent process, in line with the Government’s Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments. 


  1. Appointments follow the principle of selection based on merit, following an open and transparent process - information is provided in the public domain about vacancies, the process of appointment and the appointments made. 


  1. The rules clearly state non-executive board members are appointed by Secretaries of State and are not civil servants. 


  1. Information relating to the appointment was published online here: Non-executive Board member appointments announcement  


Governance and accountability 

  1. Defra publish declared conflicts of interest on gov.uk: Defra register of board members' interests 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 


  1. Any conflicts of interests are identified and appropriately managed – such as by ensuring non-executive directors are not present or involved in any discussions related to their declared conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest are closely monitored. 


  1. The remuneration packages for the non-executive directors are in the public domain and are published every year in Defra’s annual reports and accounts.  


August 2022