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UK Ambassadors

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the names are of those who (a) approve and (b) select UK ambassadors. (80046)

All Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) appointments are made in accordance with the rules in the Diplomatic Service or Home Civil Service Orders in Council.

As with other FCO appointments, applications for Heads of Mission positions are invited and candidates considered by the relevant FCO Selection Board, as follows:

the No 1 Selection Board (for appointments in Senior Management Structure Pay Bands 2-4 and all Governorships of Overseas Territories) is chaired by the Permanent Under-Secretary, and consists of the five Directors General and a non-Executive member of the FCO Board of Management;

the No 2 Selection Board (for appointments in Senior Management Structure Pay Band 1) is chaired by the Director, Human Resources and consists of all FCO Directors in Senior Management Structure Pay Band 2, and the Directors for the Americas and for Russia and Central Asia, as well as an independent observer;

the Delegated Grades Band D Board is chaired by the Human Resources Assistant Director (Operations). Three independent board members sit on each board, drawn from a pool of Senior Management Structure officers who have volunteered for this role, undergone diversity training and been agreed by the Trade Union Side.

Some Heads of Mission appointments will be considered by interview panels, at the discretion of the Boards.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary approves all Head of Mission appointments, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister approves all Head of Mission appointments in Pay Bands 2-4 and all Governorships of Overseas Territories, before the names of the individuals are submitted to Her Majesty the Queen for her approval.