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BBC Trust: Public Appointments

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will consider introducing (a) pre-appointment parliamentary scrutiny and (b) confirmation hearings for future appointments to the BBC Trust. (156454)

[holding answer 8 October 2007]: BBC Trust appointments are among those regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. We believe the scrutiny afforded by existing arrangements, which include the involvement of an OCPA trained independent assessor throughout, is sufficient. We do not therefore plan to consider introducing pre-appointment parliamentary scrutiny or confirmation hearings for future appointments to the BBC Trust.

This is consistent with proposals set out in the Government Green Paper “The Governance of Britain” (July 2007), which accepts there are a number of positions in which Parliament has a particularly strong interest because the office holder exercises statutory or other powers in relation to protecting the public’s rights and interests. The Government believe that Parliament, through its Select Committees, may play a valuable role where such appointments are not subject to oversight by the Commissioner for Public Appointments or other form of independent scrutiny.