To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress his Department has made towards drawing up a new code of practice for direct ministerial appointments, as recommended by Nigel Boardman.
27 April 2022
I refer the Hon Member to HCWS500.
The Government has set out that a policy statement in response to the Upholding Standards in Public Life Report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the review into the development and use of Supply Chain Finance in government by Nigel Boardman will be published in due course.
Ministers and Permanent Secretaries are responsible for ensuring compliance with internal and external requirements in their departments in line with legislation, the relevant Codes of Conduct and requirements of Managing Public Money. They are supported by legal, HR and finance professionals in discharging these obligations. The Cabinet Office and HM Treasury provide a coordination role across such functions and can provide advice and guidance in specific cases.
Direct Ministerial appointments reflect the successive practice of administrations in engaging eminent individuals to provide independent views and advice to Government on specific areas. Such appointments should, by nature, be flexible to the circumstances of the situation and in line with wider public law duties. Appointments are made by Ministers. Appointees must abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, and should ensure that any relevant interests are declared to the Senior Civil Servant sponsoring their work to ensure that no actual or reasonably perceived conflicts arise.
Departments are responsible for their own transparency releases as they hold the information required to generate them and must take steps to ensure the accuracy of the information. The Cabinet Office provides central guidance to ensure consistency of information.