Written statement to Parliament

Civil Service Commission: triennial review announced

Lord Wallace of Saltaire announced a triennial review of the Civil Service Commission and set out the terms of reference.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Saltaire

In accordance with the guidance on triennial reviews for public bodies, the government has asked Sir Gerry Grimstone to lead a review of the Civil Service Commission. This will be the first review of the Commission’s status and role since its creation in statute in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

The review’s purpose will be to establish the continuing need for the Commission, and to examine its scope of responsibilities. In particular the review will consider the Commission’s current and any possible future role in assuring the following aspects of the civil service: leadership and stewardship; capabilities; performance management; and upholding standards. The review’s terms of reference have been placed in the library of the House.

Sir Gerry will seek advice and challenge from a wide range of individuals, including ex-ministers, ex-senior civil servants, and the government’s non-executive directors. The review will report in the autumn.

Terms of reference

  1. Civil Service Commissioners were first appointed a year after the Northcote-Trevelyan report of 1854 as a guarantor of its principles of professionalism, impartiality and meritocracy. The Commission was given statutory underpinning in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act of 2010. The triennial review should swiftly verify that the requirement for the Commission as set out in that Act persists.
  2. It should then review whether its remit should be extended or amended to ensure that the challenges the civil service faces today are being properly addressed. This would include, but not be limited to, the following areas: capabilities; upholding standards; performance management; and leadership and stewardship.
Published 29 July 2014