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Public Appointments Order in Council

Volume 658: debated on Thursday 11 April 2019

Today I wish to inform the House that the Privy Council has made a revised Order in Council that makes provision for an independent commissioner to monitor the procedures adopted by appointing authorities when making appointments to public bodies. This revokes the Order made in November 2017 and provides an amended schedule of bodies and offices to be regulated by the commissioner. Regulation by the commissioner in accordance with the governance code on public appointments is an important part of ensuring that those appointments made by Government Ministers which are subject to regulation are made in an open, fair and transparent manner.

The revised Order in Council has been gazetted in the Edinburgh, London and Belfast gazettes and published on the website of the Privy Council Office. Changes to the schedule reflect where public bodies have been created, renamed, dissolved or subject to machinery of Government changes since November 2017. A copy of the Order in Council has been placed in the Libraries of both houses.

We have only added bodies to the schedule where they legally exist as of the date of the Order being made. This means that two bodies previously announced by the Government have not been included in this revised order: the Holocaust Memorial Centre Ltd and the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA). The former is soon to be established as an arm’s length body of Government. At that point, it can be treated as a regulated body by notification to the commissioner under section 2 (3) of the Order in Council. The TRA has already been notified to the commissioner under this section who has confirmed that it will be treated as a regulated body as soon as it exists. In the meantime, interim appointments to the TRA have been made in line with the governance code and principles on public appointments. The TRA will be the only arm’s length body of the Department for International Trade and will appear as such on the schedule of the Order in Council when it is next updated.

We will conduct a comprehensive review of the Order in Council later this year to ensure consistency in the schedule and the types of bodies included. This will provide a further opportunity to add the two bodies above and any other newly created bodies to the schedule as appropriate, and the subsequent Order in Council will be published. Thereafter, we intend to undertake an annual refresh of the Order.

The attachment can be viewed online at: http://www.