Editor's blog Wednesday 2 March 2011: Who are the DH Four whose appointments breached Civil Service rules?
Hats off to Tom Watson MP for his FOI work revealing that the Civil Service appointments code has been breached 30 times since the formation of the Coalition Government, revealed on Labour List.
The DH has four relevant declared appointments: one in each of the following categories of 'exceptions to selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition' (a further four appointments were made under category 9 - Assistance for disabled people):
1. Short term appointments up to maximum of two years to provide managers with the flexibility to meet short-term needs, and to enable departments to appoint individuals who are eligible for support under government programmes to assist the unemployed. Any proposal to extend an appointment made under this exception beyond two years requires the approval of the Civil Service Commission.
2. Permanent appointments to administrative (i.e. old style AA and AO) and industrial grades of individuals who have been appointed through exception 1 at or after 12 months of that appointment on the basis of a fair and objective process approved by the Commission and subject to its audit.
3. Appointments of individuals with highly specialised skills and experience for up to two years to allow highly specialised people to be brought in without a competition for a particular one-off job on the basis that such a process would be a mere formality. Any proposal for a longer appointment at the outset or to extend an appointment made under this exception beyond two years requires the approval of the Civil Service Commission.
4. Secondments of up to two years to facilitate interchange between the Civil Service and other employers. Any proposal for a longer secondment at the outset, or to extend the appointment beyond two years or to convert it to a permanent appointment without fair and open competition, requires the approval of the Commission.
Who are these four people? (Arguably, NHS Supreme Soviet Chair Comrade Sir David Nicholson could be one, in his role as CE-designate of the NHS Commissioning Board, under categories 1 or 3).
If you know, flick me an email to editorial AT healthpolicyinsight.com
I'll ask the DH press office, but ...