Role details

Committee Member, Committee on Standards in Public Life

Application deadline 7 August 2022

Summary

Organisation
Committee on Standards in Public Life
Sponsor department
Cabinet Office
Location
London
Sector
Regulation
Skills
Audit and Risk, Business, Change Management, Commercial, Communication, Media, Human Resources, IT / Digital, Legal, Judicial, Regulation
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
Remuneration
£240 per day
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 7 August 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    30 June 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 7 August 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

       Personal integrity and strength of character;

       Understanding of, and commitment to, the need to maintain the highest standards of public life;

       The ability to command the confidence of Ministers, Parliament and the public;

       The ability to examine issues in an objective and analytical way;

       Ability to work well within a small team; and

       The ability to contribute to the drafting of reports and other documents.

Desirable criteria

       Demonstrable understanding /experience of best practice in establishing high ethical standards in professional or public organisations.

Role description

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Candidate

Thank you for your interest in this vacancy for a Member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL). The Prime Minister is seeking an independent member to join the Committee for a five year term.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) advises the Prime Minister on ethical standards across the whole of public life. It monitors and reports on issues relating to arrangements for upholding the standards of conduct of all public office holders. The Committee recently proudly celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary.

We are looking for a high calibre individual with a real interest in ethical standards and commitment to the principles of public life, who could make a strong contribution to the important work of this Committee. We are especially keen to encourage applications from a diverse, wide range of backgrounds, including the voluntary and private sectors and an understanding of how public service operates across the UK.

You may already have some idea about the work of CSPL and the following pages will tell you more about CSPL’s purpose and the nature of the work of the Committee members, as well as the application process. Please do also view the CSPL website to understand their work:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/the-committee-on-standards-in-public-life

If, after reading the material, you have further questions about any aspect of this post you are welcome to speak to the Head of the Committee Secretariat, Lesley Bainsfair (lesley.bainsfair@public-standards.gov.uk).  If you have questions about the appointment process, you can contact csplrecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Organisation description

The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) is an independent, advisory non-departmental public body established in 1994. The CSPL’s role is to promote the Principles of Public Life, assessing institutions, policies and practices and making recommendations to the Prime Minister to strengthen arrangements where appropriate. The Committee is not a regulator and does not consider individual cases.  

The Committee sets its own areas for review, which may be areas of longstanding interest, an issue requiring immediate action, or an emerging standards issue. In the past three years, the Committee has produced reports and recommendations on a range of areas which can be found on its website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/the-committee-on-standards-in-public-life

Board composition

The Committee is made up of a majority of independent members, and three political members. The Committee currently comprises 8 Members. Members are listed below and biographical information for each Member can be found on the CSPL website:

       Lord Jonathan Evans KCB DL (Chair – Independent);

       The Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett DBE MP (Labour);

       The Rt Hon Lord Andrew Stunell OBE (Liberal Democrats);

       The Rt Hon Sir Jeremy Wright QC MP (Conservative);

       Dame Shirley Pearce DBE (Independent);

       Professor Gillian Peele (Independent);

       Ewen Fergusson (Independent).

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Application and selection process

How to apply

Completed applications (a CV and statement of suitability) should be submitted to csplrecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk by 11.59PM on 7 August 2022.

The candidate pack can be viewed here.

In order to apply you will need to provide:

  1. A  Curriculum Vitae which provides details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards;

  2. A supporting statement setting out how you meet the eligibility criteria;

  3. Information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues;

  4. Diversity monitoring information. This form allows us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes that we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be used as part of the selection process and will not be seen by the interview panel.

  5. Disability Confident – If you want to be considered for the disability confident scheme,

  6. Reasonable adjustments - requests for reasonable adjustments that you would like to the application process (if applicable).

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact lesley.bainsfair@public-standards.gov.uk

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The names of all appointable candidates are provided to Ministers. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.

  7. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact lesley.bainsfair@public-standards.gov.uk.

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

Government departments are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. INTEGRITY -Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships. 
  3. OBJECTIVITY - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias. 
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. 
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing. 
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office should be truthful. 
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on official business however these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that due to the volume of applications received, we are only able to offer feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the sponsor team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at csplrecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at publicappointments@csc.gov.uk.Further information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website https://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/regulating-appointments/investigating-complaints/

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact us at: csplrecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk