This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Independent assessors re-appointed
More than half of the Independent Assessors who oversee Ministerial appointments to Scotland's Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) were re-appointed today.
Announcing the re-appointment of 8 of the 14 current Independents, Minister for Finance and Public Services Andy Kerr said:
"I have every confidence that Marie Whitehead, Anne MacLean, Maureen Watt, Marcia Campbell, Lesley Quirk, Selma Rahman, Irene Kitson and Reverend Eric Cramb will continue to uphold the highest standards of integrity which has been the hallmark of all the Independent Assessors.
"They all play a crucial role in the appointments system, ensuring that the process is fair, open and transparent. I hope these re-appointments will allow the continued smooth running of this system until Scotland's own Commission for Public Appointments is up and running in 2003."
The 8 re-appointees will be in post for 2 years, starting on January 1 st, 2001.
The recently published "Public Bodies: Proposals for Change", sets out Ministers' proposals to create a Scottish Commissioner for Public Appointments and to transfer responsibility for the appointment of assessors to the Commissioner.
Independent Assessors act as the 'guardians' of the seven principles set out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments in her Code of Practice. They must satisfy themselves that the Code is followed in every appointments round. These principles are:
Ministerial Appointments: the ultimate responsibility for appointments is with Ministers
Merit: all appointments should be governed by the overriding principle of selection based on merit.
Independent Scrutiny: no appointment will take place without first being scrutinised by an independent assessor.
Equal Opportunities: departments should sustain programmes to promote and deliver equal opportunities principles.
Probity: board members of public bodies must be committed to the principles and values of public service.
Openness & Transparency: the principles of open Government must be applied to the appointments process.
Proportionality: the appointments procedures need to be subject to the principle of 'proportionality' i.e. they should be appropriate for the nature of the post and the size and weight of its responsibilities.
Five of the re-appointees have declared that they have been politically active in the five year preceding the initial appointment. The Rev Eric Cramb, Anne MacLean and Irene Kitson were active on behalf of the Labour Party, and Maureen Watt and Maire Whitehead on behalf of the SNP.
Independent Assessors are currently unremunerated, however travel and subsistence expenses are reimbursed.