[Relevant document: The Second Report of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority of 2017, Appointment of an IPSA Board Member, HC 679.]
I beg to move,
That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will appoint Jackie Smith to the office of ordinary member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority for a period of five years with effect from 19 February 2018.
The motion gives the House the opportunity to debate the recommendation agreed by the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. The appointment has arisen following the conclusion of the term of Elizabeth Padmore. Members may be aware that the Speaker’s Committee has produced a report on this matter—its second report of 2017—in relation to the motion.
It may help if I set out the key points for the record. IPSA board members are appointed under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. Under that Act, the Speaker is responsible for overseeing the selection of candidates for appointment to IPSA, and the names of any candidates to be members of IPSA must be approved by the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA. The 2009 Act states that at least one of IPSA’s members must be a person who has held, but no longer holds, high judicial office, within the meaning of part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005; that at least one of IPSA’s members must be a person who is qualified under schedule 3 to the National Audit Act 1983 to be an auditor for the National Audit Office; and that one of IPSA’s members—the parliamentary member—must be a person who has been, but is no longer, a Member of the House of Commons.
On this occasion, the vacancy on the board of IPSA was for a person not subject to any particular statutory requirements, to replace the outgoing board member, Elizabeth Padmore. Although Mr Speaker is not regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in making this appointment, he chooses to follow its recommended best practice in his supervision of appointments. As is normal for such appointments, Mr Speaker appointed a panel that conducted the shortlisting and interviewing of candidates. The panel was chaired by Mark Addison, the former civil service commissioner. The other members of the panel were: Ruth Evans, chair of IPSA; Shrinivas Honap, lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA; Meg Munn, former Member of Parliament for Sheffield, Heeley; and Michael Whitehouse, former chief operating officer at the National Audit Office.
The candidate recommended by the appointment board is Ms Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The board considers that Ms Smith has been a successful chief executive, known for turning around organisations and delivering performance in a complex political environment. She also has extensive experience in regulation. As required under the 2009 Act, the appointment was approved by the Speaker’s Committee at its meeting in December.
If the appointment is made, Ms Smith will serve on IPSA for five years. Should the House support this appointment, I wish the individual well as she takes up her new post. I commend this motion to the House.
I thank the Leader of the House for what she has said. I wish to thank the independent panel appointed by Mr Speaker—the independent chair, Mark Addison; Ruth Evans, the IPSA chair; Shrinivas Honap, the lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA; Meg Munn, former MP for Sheffield, Heeley; and Michael Whitehouse, former chief operating officer of the National Audit Office—for its assiduous work in identifying possible candidates. I also wish to thank the outgoing IPSA board member, Elizabeth Padmore, for all her work.
The panel has been independent, transparent and diligent in its work. It was the panel’s unanimous view, which was endorsed by the Committee, to appoint Jackie Smith, who, as the Leader of the House has said, is currently the chief executive and registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and so has had experience in dealing with an organisation of more than 800 staff over five locations across the four countries of the United Kingdom. She was also head of investigation and lay affiliate for standards and fitness to practise at the General Medical Council. Ms Smith’s experience in regulation and delivering performance will serve her well.
The Opposition endorse the appointment of Jackie Smith to the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, and wish her well in her new role. She will be there from 19 February 2018 to 18 February 2023.
Question put and agreed to.