§ Lord Rogan
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the Civil Service Commissioners' recruitment code is fully observed by all departments and agencies within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. [HL384]
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
I understand from the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland that the Northern Ireland Civil Service Commissioners are satisfied that the recruitment policies and practices of departments and agencies within the Northern Ireland Civil Service are generally in accordance with the requirements of the recruitment code.
The commissioners are responsible for upholding the principle that selection for appointment to posts in the NICS should be on the basis of merit, through fair and open competition. They discharge this responsibility by publishing and maintaining a recruitment code which sets out the essential principles and procedures on which recruitment to the Northern Ireland Civil Service must be based. The commissioners satisfy themselves that these requirements are met through a robust cycle of audits of departmental and agency recruitment policies and practices. Issues arising are followed up with the NICS through regular exchanges between the commissioners and NICS officials, including Permanent Secretaries.
A summary of the findings of the most recent audits can be accessed in the commissioners' annual report 2001–02 or on their website at www.nicscommissioners.org