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Leonard Peach, the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments, today published his first report and acknowled...
Leonard Peach, the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments, today published his first report and acknowledged the progress departments have made in implementing his Code of Practice for Public Appointments Procedures.

The report, which covers the period December 1995 to June 1996, describes the process leading to the issue of his Code of Practice for Public Appointments Procedures in April 1996, reactions to it and issues which are likely to arise over the coming months. A summary of the report is attached.

Announcing publication of the report, Sir Len said: 'This report provides a useful commentary on my activities as the first Commissioner for Public Appointments, from my appointment last year up to 1 July this year when my code of practice became mandatory for ministerial appointments to executive non-departmental public bodies and NHS bodies.

'As I look back over my first ten months in post, I have no doubt that the procedures I am advocating are better than those which existed before and I believe that they will bring substantial improvements to our public appointments system.'

The commissioner sees his role as to maintain the principle of selection on merit in relation to public appointments both by disseminating guidance and best practice to departments and through the audit process. In September Sir Len published an information leaflet for the general public which sets out his responsibilities and describes how to make a complaint.

Over the coming year, Sir Len intends to monitor developments in the implementation of the new procedures and will pay particular attention to the use of independent scrutiny, results from the use of advertising with an emphasis on effectiveness and cost, and the time-scale of departments' selection processes.

As this first report covers the period prior to July, it contains no statistics. The first statistical analysis and summary of departmental audits will be included in Sir Len's second report which will cover the period July 1996 to March 1997. Thereafter, reports will be issued at annual intervals corresponding with the financial year.

-- Copies of OCPA publications, including the annual report and a summary of the report can be obtained free of charge from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA), Horse Guards Road, London SW1P 3AL. Contact: David Lane, 0171 270 5792.

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