Department for Culture Media and Sport

other issues


Board members may be offered a further term of appointment subject to satisfactory performance and a continuing need for their particular skills and experience on the board.

DCMS public appointments are normally for a term of four years and board members are not usually reappointed more than once. The regular and transparent performance assessment of board members is an OCPA requirement and members are only reappointed on the basis of a satisfactory performance during their current term.

Performance reports on individual board members are provided to the Department by the Chairs of our public bodies. Where a Chair is being considered for reappointment, an evaluation of his or her performance is carried out by Ministers and senior officials who also seek the advice of stakeholders.

On receipt of the performance assessment, Ministers are invited to decide whether or not the individual should be reappointed for a further term.

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Conflicts of interest

It is important to the effectiveness of our bodies that their boards have members with relevant expertise who are active in the sectors with which they deal, and it is therefore likely that conflicts of interest may arise. We ensure that any private interests of public appointees which could result in actual, potential or perceived conflicts are identified, declared, and disposed of or managed so as to avoid conflict.

We look very carefully at the declarations on conflicts of interest which applicants are required to make on their application forms and we research the risks posed by them. The issue is also discussed at interview and letters exchanged with the candidate chosen by Ministers about how any conflicts will be disposed of or managed before the formal offer of appointment is made.

Similarly, before a formal offer of reappointment is made, we ask the individual concerned to confirm that their entry in the public body's register of interests is comprehensive and up-to-date, whether any of these present a conflict and, if so, what measures are in place to manage the conflicts identified.

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Independent scrutiny

Each public appointment campaign to identify a new board member is carried out under the scrutiny of an Independent Public Appointments Assessor. These are people independent of the Department who have experience of recruitment and have been accredited by OCPA as being able to uphold its principles and rules. We use them throughout the appointments process both as guardians of the integrity of the process and as equal participants who add value because of their wider perspective. At the stage of the process when Ministers make the final decision on who is to be appointed, the Independent Public Appointments Assessor is required by OCPA to provide a certificate of satisfaction (Validation Certificate) to assure the Minister that the process has been carried out in accordance with the Commissioner's Code of Practice.

Independent Public Appointment Assessors routinely involved in DCMS processes:

  • Lucinda Bolton
  • Averil Burgess OBE
  • Georgina Butcher
  • John Churchill
  • Virginia Crowe
  • Jayam Dalal
  • Mavis Evans
  • Sheila Hewitt JP
  • Jacqui Francis
  • Brian Hutchinson
  • John Owen
  • Dame Janet Ritterman
  • Robin Ritzema
  • Dr Ann Robinson
  • Dr Sandra Ward
  • Barbara Woroncow OBE
  • Lorraine Worsley MBE

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We are committed to ensuring that all groups in society are represented on our boards because:

  • This is fair
  • We want to draw on the richest possible pool of talent
  • Boards function best if their members bring different perspectives and are representative of wider society

We therefore try to interest a wide range of people in public appointments, and have targets set by the Government Equalities Office to increase board membership among women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled people.

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Delegation of the appointments process for new appointments to National Museums and Galleries and the British Library

Because of the nature of these bodies as service providers operating at arm's length from the Department, Ministers have decided and OCPA has agreed that it is permissible for these bodies, if they so wish, to administer the appointments process for their own vacancies. Under this arrangement, Ministers still have the final say on whom to appoint but the relevant body carries out all the stages of the process up to the recommendation of a choice of appointable candidates to Ministers.

The appointments still have to be made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice and must involve an Independent Assessor.

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