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Independent Football Commission

Volume 622: debated on Wednesday 14 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Why it was considered necessary for a firm of external consultants to be appointed in the search for the chairman of the Independent Football Commission; and what will be the cost to public funds of so doing. [HL592]

My right honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has agreed to the request from the football authorities to appoint the first chairman of the Independent Football Commission—the new self-regulatory body which they are establishing. In so doing, he has made clear that the process of appointing the chairman is conducted in an open and transparent manner according to the standards that would apply to a public appointment. Therefore an independent public appointments advisory panel was convened to consider the applications which had been received by the department for this post.While the panel considered a number or the applicants would be suitable for appointment to the post, the panel concluded that it would like to test the applicants against other strong candidates before reaching firm conclusions on a short list of names to recommend for appointment. The panel recommended a further exercise to generate applications and suggested that employing external consultants might make a useful contribution to that exercise. The Government therefore approached the Football Association who confirmed that the football authorities would be willing to pay the costs of consultants. There will therefore be no cost to public funds from the use of consultants. Any applications for the post of IFC chairman, which are received following approaches from consultants, will be considered by the panel on equal terms with those already received.