Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of the Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE as the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Peter will take up the appointment with immediate effect for a 5 year, non-renewable term.
The government is taking steps to make the appointments process more efficient, effective and streamlined. This is essential to help attract a diverse and high quality field of candidates to serve on the boards of public bodies. These proposals were set out on 11 March, in response to the report Better Public Appointments by Sir Gerry Grimstone.
As Commissioner for Public Appointments, Peter Riddell will have a leading role, working with the government in taking forward these changes in a way that commands public confidence.
Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office said:
I am delighted to announce Peter Riddell as the Public Appointments Commissioner. His distinguished record speaks for itself. Peter has the expertise and character to make an excellent Commissioner for Public Appointments and I look forward to working with him.
Peter Riddell, the new Commissioner for Public Appointments said:
It is a huge honour to be chosen as the new Public Appointments Commissioner and I am delighted to be taking up this role. I look forward to working with the government in helping to implement Sir Gerry Grimstone’s review of public appointments and to provide public reassurance about an appointments process based on merit, to increase transparency, and to extend the diversity of appointees.
Notes to editors
The Commissioner for Public Appointments regulates the processes by which ministers (including Welsh ministers) make appointments to the boards of national and regional public bodies. The role of the Commissioner was created in 1995 following the First Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life under the chairmanship of Lord Nolan. The Commissioner is an independent office-holder, appointed by Her Majesty The Queen.
Peter Riddell is currently Director of the Institute for Government. From the beginning of May, he will reduce his commitment to the Institute to 3 days a week before stepping down completely in the summer. Previously, he was a journalist for nearly 40 years, split between the Financial Times and The Times, where he had been their domestic political analyst and commentator. He has been a regular broadcaster, has written 7 books and delivered frequent lectures.
Peter also chaired the Hansard Society, a non-partisan charity which promotes understanding of Parliament and representative democracy, for 5 years until mid-2012.
A fair and open recruitment exercise carried out in line with the principles of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, published by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, was conducted for the role. The Commissioner is expected to work 2 days a week on average and will receive remuneration of £56,000.
The appointment is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee held a pre-appointment hearing with Peter on 12 April.
Peter Riddell has declared no political activity.