Monitoring the public appointments process in the UK

Duncan McTavish, Robert Pyper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The system for monitoring, regulating and reporting on the way in which UK government ministers make appointments to the boards of public bodies is a relatively neglected area of public management. A decade after the establishment of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA), little attention has been paid by academics to the functioning of this agent of accountability (a particularly British device), despite the importance of transparency and accountability for the new public management and modernization. This article seeks to examine the key issues surrounding the Commissioners for Public Appointments as agents of accountability, by examining the tensions in the relationship between OCPA and the executive, variations in the governance arrangements for the Commissioners across the devolved polity and the key findings and recommendations of a number of official reports, while locating these issues in the context of current debates about modernization and 'representativeness' in public bodies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Management Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • independence
  • accountability
  • public appointments
  • governance


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