Public Appointments Unit

Oral Answers to Questions — Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 4 February 1998.

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Photo of Jacqui Lait Jacqui Lait Conservative, Beckenham 1:40, 4 February 1998

How many vacancies on public bodies have been filled from the list held by the public appointments unit since 1 May. [25366]

Photo of Peter Kilfoyle Peter Kilfoyle Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Since May, the public appointments unit has made nominations for around 600 appointments. Over the same period, it has learnt of 59 appointments that have been made following nomination by the unit. A number of recent appointments are still under consideration.

Photo of Jacqui Lait Jacqui Lait Conservative, Beckenham

I thank the Minister for that reply, but is he not horrified at how few appointments are made from the public appointments unit, given the thousands of public appointments that there are? Is he aware that, in the "Civil Service Year Book", no civil servant with responsibility for the list is listed? Does he not think it time that the public appointments unit is boosted or, given the cynicism with which it is regarded by those outside who wish to offer themselves for public service, is killed off?

Photo of Peter Kilfoyle Peter Kilfoyle Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

What horrified me after 1 May was the extent to which the Conservatives, while in government, boosted the Tory nomenklatura on the quangocracy. We have attempted to use all means possible, including the public appointments unit, to ensure that there is the widest possible dissemination of information about vacancies on quangos, and to ensure that more women and ethnic minorities get the representation that was denied them in the previous 18 years in the unelected quango state.