Jonathan Baume to be appointed Civil Service Commissioner

Jonathan Baume is to be appointed as a Civil Service Commissioner after he stands down in the autumn as FDA General Secretary. This appointment is for a fixed five-year term, and is part-time.

There are 12 Commissioners, including the First Commissioner (chair) Sir David Normington.

The Commission has two key functions, which are to uphold the principle that selection for appointments in the civil service must be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition, and to hear and determine appeals raised by civil servants under the Civil Service Code.

Each Commissioner is also linked to several government departments and the larger agencies. The 'Link Commissioner' regularly meets the permanent secretary or agency chief executive, and often also with other departmental board members. There are also meetings with the Government heads of profession. These meetings explore current issues of common interest relating to the Commission's regulatory functions and help to give the Commission a strategic overview of recruitment and other relevant activity in departments and agencies.

In addition, the 'Link Commissioner' oversees the process and chairs the selection panels for all director general and permanent secretary appointments in the relevant departments, and for director posts where the vacancy is open to applicants outside the civil service.

Civil Service Commissioners were first appointed in 1855 following the Northcote-Trevelyan report, which identified patronage as one of the main reasons for the inefficiency of the mid-19th century civil service, and for its public disrepute. Originally, the Commissioners were appointed to run a system of public examinations for entry to the civil service.

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