HC Deb 21 April 1999 vol 329 cc896-7
9. Dr. Doug Naysmith (Bristol, North-West)

If he will make a statement on his plans to improve the procedures for access to public appointments, indicating when the new procedures are likely to be introduced. [80300]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Mr. Peter Kilfoyle)

The Government are committed to ensuring that access to public appointments provides equality of opportunity for all and will shortly publish departmental action plans.

Dr. Naysmith

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. In introducing those new procedures, will the Government bear in mind the unconscionable amount of time sometimes taken to fill appointments, that is, between the declaration of a vacancy and the making of the appointment?

Mr. Kilfoyle

When delays occur, I suspect that part of the reason is the insistence on finding the right person for the appointment. All such appointments are dictated by merit but, in the light of my hon. Friend's comments, I undertake to reconsider the matter.