A higher number of top civil servants are being appointed
through open competition according to the independent Civil Service
Commissioners’ annual report for 2000-2001.
The number of top civil servants appointed through open
competition increased last year by nearly 30 per cent which the commissioners
claim brings in new talent and people from more diverse backgrounds.
The report shows that the number of appointments to the
Senior Civil Service through open competition has gone up from 158 in 1999-2000
to 202 in 2000-2001. These included 17 appointments to the very top including
five at permanent secretary level, eight of which came from outside the Civil
Over 60 per cent of the 202 appointed came from outside the
Baroness Prashar, the first Civil Service commissioner,
said, “If the Civil Service is to be equipped to meet the objectives of the
reform agenda, then it must be able to guarantee that its members have been
recruited for their skills and the ability to do the job – that is, on merit
and merit alone.
“Equally important is the concept of fair and open access.
Assurance that selection is by fair and open competition is just as necessary
to protect the rights of candidates as it is in providing the best candidate
for the job.”