Appointment of members
A number of important changes have been made in recent years in the way in which Government Departments are expected to deal with appointments to the advisory committees for which they have responsibility. These principles were set out in the Nolan Committee's Report on Standards in Public Life.
Nolan's principle conclusions in relation to non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), which included advisory committees were that:
- Appointments should be made on the basis of merit, to form committees with a balance of relevant skills and backgrounds.
- Responsibility for appointments should remain with Ministers advised by committees including independent members.
- The appointment process should be open and departments should have to justify any departures from best practice.
- Job specifications should be published and a wide range of candidates sought.
- It should be mandatory for each NDPB to have a code of conduct for members, and a similar code for staff.
- A commissioner for public appointments should be appointed to regulate, monitor and report on the public appointment process.
Arising from these principles, all appointments to the COT follow the best practice set in Guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.