House of Lords Appointments Commission

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House of Lords Appointments Commission - annual report

The House of Lords Appointments Commission today published its sixth annual report covering the period from October 2008-March 2010 which details their work in selecting and recommending non-party-political peers and in vetting prospective appointees to the House of Lords.

The Commission also today published research conducted for it by University College London which analyses existing data on experience and expertise in the House of Lords. 
Publishing the annual report, Lord Jay, Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, said:

“During the period this report covers, the Commission has taken the opportunity to build on the work of the previous Commission and review its policies and procedures to ensure that the systems used for selection and appointment, and for vetting, are robust and independent.

“We have done this in the context of the view, now widely shared, that membership of the House of Lords should increasingly be seen as a job and not just as an honour. We announced revised and strengthened criteria in March 2009 and following this, recommended six individuals to sit on the crossbenches in the House of Lords.

“The research published today was conducted by University College London and brings together publicly available data on the professional experience and expertise of the current membership of the House of Lords. It gives the Commission a broad snapshot of the skills in the House of Lords which will help better inform us where there may be gaps in knowledge and expertise. The Commission is, of course, committed to assessing all nominations on merit and against our published criteria. The research is only one of many factors we must take into account in making our decisions.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the three political members of the Commission who will stand down from the Commission in the Autumn, having made a significant contribution to the Commission’s work over the past ten years.”

Notes to editors

  1. Media enquiries about the work of the House of Lords Appointments Commission should go to Maggie O'Boyle on 07880 740627.
  2. The annual report, UCL research and further information on the Appointments Commission can be obtained from http://lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk.
  3. The Appointments Commission is a non-statutory advisory body set up by the Prime Minister to make recommendations for non-party-political peerages. The Commission’s remit is to find people of distinction who will bring authority and expertise to the House of Lords. The Commission recommends individuals on merit and their ability to contribute effectively to the work of the House. The House of Lords Appointments Commission has now recommended a total of 55 non-party-political peerages to the Prime Minister, drawn from around 4,500 nominations. The Commission also vets nominations for life peers, including those nominated by the UK political parties, for propriety.
  4. The membership of the House of Lords Appointments Commission comprises four independent members: Lord (Michael) Jay of Ewelme GCMG (Chairman), Baroness Jane Campbell, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low and three members nominated by each of the three main political parties: Rt Hon Baroness (Brenda) Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, Lord (Navnit) Dholakia, and Rt Hon Lord (Douglas) Hurd of Westwell. The Chairman and independent members were selected through open competition.