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Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors

Volume 560: debated on Friday 22 March 2013

I am today announcing the start of the triennial review of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors (ACCO). Triennial reviews of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that NDPBs continue to have regular challenge on their remit and governance arrangements.

ACCO provides advice to the Secretary of State for Defence on appeals from service personnel whose applications to leave the armed forces on the ground of conscience have not been accepted.

The ACCO review is to be conducted in accordance with Government guidance for reviewing NDPBs and will consist of two phases. Phase 1 will consider whether the function of the ACCO is still required, and whether continued delivery of that function through a non-departmental public body (NDPB) is appropriate. If phase 1 deems that ACCO should continue in its current form, phase 2 will review the current governance arrangements to ensure that it is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

The aim is to complete the review and announce the outcome within 12 weeks.