HC Deb 23 April 1998 vol 310 c674W
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy on the recruitment and appointment of permanent secretaries; in what circumstances open competition is used; and if he will make a statement. [37915]

The Prime Minister

Policy on the recruitment and appointment of permanent secretaries and on the use of open competition continues to be based on the checklist proposed in the Oughton Report on Career Management and Succession Planning published in November 1993 and endorsed by the last Government: namelyis it necessary to fill the vacancy at all or at this level? if so, what is the nature of the job now and in the future? what qualifications, qualities, skills, experience and achievement record will a future job holder require? is there a sufficient field of candidates already within the department, or in order to get a strong field is it necessary to extend the search to the wider Civil Service or to full open competition? are there wider reasons in the departmental interest or the corporate interest of the Civil Service as a whole to provide the opportunity for new blood to be brought into the department or the Civil Service through this vacancy?