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About the Cabinet Office


Public Bodies sponsored by the Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office Public Appointments Plan reviews policy and practice relating to the public appointments of chairs and board members of the public bodies sponsored by the Cabinet Office.

Public Bodies


Advisory Committee on Advertising (ACA)

Role
The Advisory Committee on Advertising is a group of recognised industry experts providing independent validation that government advertising is conducted in an effective, transparent and efficient manner. Its role is to help government ensure that its development of advertising and buying of advertising and media is done in a way that ensures best value for the tax payer.

Members are appointed by, and report to, the Minister for the Cabinet Office. The Government Communication Group provides a Secretariat service.

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Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA)

Role
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments provides advice to the Prime Minister on applications from the most senior members of the Civil Service and Armed Forces who wish to take up outside appointments within two years of leaving Crown Service. Similarly, the Committee provides advice to the Foreign Secretary on applications from senior members of the Diplomatic Service. The Committee also offers advice direct to former Ministers if they wish to accept any employment outside government.

Website
www.acoba.gov.uk [External website])

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Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI)

Role
The Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information was established on 14 April 2003. Its role is to advise Ministers on how to encourage and create opportunities in the information industry for greater re–use of public sector information; to advise the Director of the Office of Public Sector Information and Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office about changes and opportunities in the information industry so that the licensing of Crown copyright and public sector information is aligned with current and emerging developments; and to review and consider complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 and to advise on the impact of the complaints procedures under those regulations.

The membership represents the full spectrum of information producers, re–users and end–users, as well as academics and representatives of interests in the devolved jurisdictions. The Secretariat is provided by the Office of Public Sector Information.

The Panel meets several times a year in London, and in March, organises an annual seminar in Oxford to discuss crucial issues surrounding the re–use of public sector information. The Panel produces an Annual Report on the work that it has undertaken.

Website
www.appsi.gov.uk [External website]

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Better Regulation Commission (BRC)

Role
The Government announced in Budget 2005 that it would establish a Better Regulation Commission to provide independent advice to government, from business and other external stakeholders, about new regulatory proposals and about the Government's overall regulatory performance.

The Commission will continue the challenge role carried out by the Better Regulation Task Force, as well as take on new responsibilities following the announcements in Budget 2005, including vetting departmental plans for simplification and administrative burden reduction.

The BRC is an independent advisory body whose terms of reference are:

Objective
To advise the Government on action to:

The work of the Commission will include:

The scope of the work carried out by the Commission will cover the private sector, public sector, voluntary sector and EU regulatory issues.

The Commission will continue the Better Regulation Task Force tradition of researching and publishing studies of particular regulatory issues. These reviews are taken forward by sub–groups of Commission members who set their own working methods and priorities.

During the period under review, the Better Regulation Task Force published the following reports:

Website
www.brc.gov.uk [External website]

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Civil Service Appeal Board (CSAB)

Role
The Civil Service Appeal Board is an independent body sponsored by the Corporate Development Group. It hears appeals from civil servants against:

The Civil Service Appeal Board is chaired by an external recruit supported by two deputies, one appointed from nominees submitted by the trade unions, the other appointed from nominees proposed by Civil Service management. They are supported by 18 Board members, nine from the official side and nine from the trade union side.

Website
www.civilserviceappealboard.gov.uk [External website])

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Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL)

Role
The Committee on Standards in Public Life is an advisory non–departmental public body. It is charged to examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations to any changes in present arrangements that might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.

To fulfil this role and in addition to its formal inquiries, reports and research into public attitudes, the Committee devotes time throughout the year to discussing current issues and concerns relating to standards in public life. These considerations may, and sometimes do, result in full-scale inquiry. Even when no inquiry is conducted, these are regarded by the Committee as a useful check on current standards and the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the arrangements in place to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.

The Committee's consideration of these specific standards issues takes place within an overall appreciation of the level of trust in public institutions. The issues considered by the Committee come from a wide range of sources, including correspondence received, debates in Parliament, and issues raised by the media. Not all these issues are about ‘current concerns’ with standards in public life. The Committee is equally interested to see and consider issues that demonstrate that arrangements already in place are working to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.

The Committee reports to the Prime Minister, who appoints the Chair and Members.

Website
www.public-standards.gov.uk [External website]

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House of Lords Appointments Commission (HOLAC)

Role
The House of Lords Appointments Commission makes recommendations on the appointment of non–party political peers. The Commission also vets for propriety nominations for life peerages, including those made by the political parties, and all individuals added to honours lists by the Prime Minister.

Website
www.lordsappointments.gov.uk [External website]

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Main Honours Advisory Committee (MHAC)

Role
The Main Honours Advisory Committee is formed by the Chairs of the eight specialist committees which look at nominations for honours from members of the public, government departments and others. Other members of the committee are the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Permanent Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and another Permanent Secretary. The Committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Cabinet Office and Head of the Home Civil Service.

The Committee, and the sub–Committees, each normally meet twice a year to consider candidates for the New Year and Birthday Honours rounds.

The Main Honours Advisory Committee was established as part of the programme of reform to the honours system set out in Cm 6479: Reform of the Honours System published in February 2005. The individual specialist committees comprise a non–civil servant chair and a majority of non–civil service members, all selected after open competition. There are also Permanent Secretaries and other officials on the specialist committees, depending on the subject matter. Details of the composition of the committee can be found at www.honours.gov.uk

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Security Commission (SC) and Security Vetting Appeals Panel (SVAP)

Role
The Security Commission and Security Vetting Appeals Panel are independent bodies sponsored by the Intelligence and Security Secretariat (Security Policy Division).

The Security Commission is available, at the request of the Prime Minister, to investigate and report on the circumstances in which a breach of security has occurred in the public service and to advise whether any change in security arrangements is necessary or desirable.

The Security Vetting Appeals Panel exists to provide an independent avenue of appeal for existing staff and contractors whose security clearance has been refused or withdrawn and to make recommendations to the appropriate head of department.

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Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB)

Role
The Senior Salaries Review Body provides independent advice to the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Defence on the remuneration of senior civil servants, holders of judicial office and senior members of the Armed Forces. It also advises the Prime Minister from time to time on the pay, pensions and allowances of members of Parliament and ministers, and if asked to do so it may advise the devolved administrations and Greater London Authority on the remuneration of their members and office holders. The Secretariat is provided by the Office of Manpower Economics.

Website
http://www.ome.uk.com/review.cfm?body=4 [External website]

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