25th March 2009
The House of Lords Appointments Commission today published revised selection criteria for non-party-political peers. The Commission, chaired by Lord Jay of Ewelme, recommends individuals of experience and expertise to contribute to the workings of the Upper House and also vets nominations for life peerages for propriety.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Commission Chairman Lord Jay said:
“The new Commission has been reviewing its policies and procedures in light of experience and has identified some small but important amendments that would clarify and strengthen the existing criteria.
The Appointments Commission wants to ensure that future nominees are willing to commit the time necessary to make an effective contribution to the House of Lords, rather than, as now, merely “having the time available” to do so.
The Commission also wants to strengthen the existing requirement that a nominee should be resident in the UK for tax purposes, and be willing to confirm his or her acceptance of the requirement to remain so. (This strengthening will also be reflected in our vetting criteria for future party-political and other nominations for peerages).
Finally, the Commission wishes to add to the current requirement for nominees to be independent of any political party, a confirmation of intent to remain so. “
Publishing the revised criteria today, Lord Jay said:
“The public and the Commission rightly have high expectations of the small number of individuals we are able to recommend for appointment each year. We are updating all our information material and will be writing to all nominees to update them on these changes.
“The competition for these appointments is tough. We want to ensure that those selected are aware of and able to meet the expectations of the Commission and the public.”
The revised criteria take effect immediately.