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Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: Public Appointments

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 110261, tabled on 24 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Answered on

27 January 2022

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies.

The Governance Code requires that candidates are asked to declare relevant interests and these are discussed at interview. The FCDO may also provide the panel with other information, for example, open source material that they may wish to consider in reaching a judgement in a fair and open way.

Whilst the FCDO will usually seek references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, it is noted that references may not always be an appropriate, fair or open way of reaching such an assessment due to the limitations on what might be provided and the lack of transparency as to their contents.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.