Improving the integrity of appointments to public posts

Politicians currently have discretion over a wide range of appointments to posts on public bodies, agencies, boards, etc. These appointments lack transparency and accountability, and the large number of former politicians appointed to such posts has led to plausible arguments that political affiliation, rather than merit, often determines such appointments. This situation feeds public distrust of the democratic system and a (potentially correct) belief that the system involves an unduly large element of politicians looking out for their associates and contacts.

Other countries, such as the UK, have created independent bodies to improve the transparency and oversight of public appointments. While such bodies may not have the final say on appointments, they can – for instance – be in charge of drawing up shortlists, enhancing the likelihood of appointments based on merit and diminishing undue political influence. Accordingly, the next action plan should include a commitment to setting up some kind of independent public appointments body, following research as to the best model to adopt.

Why the contribution is important

As above, it would enhance the transparency and accountability of public appointments, and leads to greater trust in the democratic system as a whole.

by maxrash on March 09, 2021 at 05:02PM

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