Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 25th February 2021.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the review of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) has concluded that unpaid non-executive positions of the RFCAs, including chairmanships, should remain unpaid; whether any of the review's conclusions on such unpaid executive positions reflect the voluntary ethos of the RFCAs; and whether the review has considered (1) a potential role for unpaid independent advisory councils in shadowing the current regional and national arrangements of the RFCAs, and (2) the extent to which the current organisation of the RFCAs offers value for money.

Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The 2019 Review of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) was published on 24 March 2020 and placed in the Library of the House. The Review can be found at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-reserve-forces-cadets-associations-2019

The Review identified a clear need for fully independent non-executive directors with appropriate corporate competencies to bring a level of constructive challenge currently lacking due to the insular way business is conducted. In addition, it also recommended that some roles should be advertised on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website and consideration should be given to remunerating RFCA Board and Regional Council members to attract applicants with a diverse mix of military and professional knowledge, skills and experience.

The Review is not explicit on the role of independent advisory councils but recommends that the wider RFCA membership should be retained in an advisory ‘associate’ capacity and any independent regional Chairs of any organisations/sub-committees that sit under the overarching National Board should be appointed in accordance with Government public appointments policy.

The Review also found that the RFCAs deliver a great deal on tight resources, proving strong value for money but also identified a number of areas for improvement. The Ministry of Defence has established a programme team to take forward the Review’s recommendations in conjunction with the RFCAs.

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