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Central Appointments Unit

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the purpose of the Central Appointments Unit; how names are placed on its lists of acceptable people or removed from its lists; and why the persons concerned are not informed that these records are being maintained about them and their interests and religious and political affiliations.

The Central Appointments Unit, staffed by the Northern Ireland Civil Service, was created in 1974 with the objectives of identifying the widest possible cross-section of people able and willing to undertake public appointments in Northern Ireland and of ensuring, as far as possible, that such appointments are fully representative of the community. The CAU records, which do not include political affiliations, have been built up from the knowledge of Departments augmented by names suggested on request by voluntary and professional organisations. Such organisations were asked to ensure that the names they suggested were of people who, if offered appointments, would in principle be willing to accept. A register of this sort, if it is to serve its purpose, must be continually updated; and this is done.