4 Lay Members for The Committee on Standards
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- House of Commons
- This is a remunerated non-executive position paying £300 per 8 hour day (proportionate to actual hours worked).
- Closing date:
- 16th November
- Job Ref:
A message from the Chair of the Committee on Standards
Thank you for your interest in applying to be a lay member of the Committee on Standards.
Lay members are a vital part of many professional regulation bodies and the House of Commons is no exception to this. Indeed, in an environment that is steeped in history and which has complex procedures and systems that have evolved over many years their contribution is even more valuable.
The three lay members who joined us just two years ago have added immensely to the capability of the Committee. They have brought different experiences to the table and ensured that an external perspective is brought to all our discussions. It is all too easy for any group to become inward looking and the lay members provide us with a constant challenge to ensure that we do not. They have also encouraged us to be bolder, to look at the processes and systems in Westminster that have long historical roots but that may not work quite so well today and indeed to think more actively about how we can promote ethical standards across the House.
The lay members have become an integral part of the Committee and we were very pleased that the House as a whole agreed with our recommendation to increase their number to seven. We are looking forward to welcoming the new lay members who will add to the diversity of experience around the table and so help to improve our work.
As you consider this opportunity further you will find information on the Committee’s work and that of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner on the House of Commons website. Generally, the Committee’s work is unglamorous but essential and for the most part low profile. Individual cases though can generate a great deal of interest so lay members have to be comfortable with this range of scrutiny.
We have no preconceived ideas about the backgrounds lay members should come from and are interested in candidates from across the country. Lay members need independence, objectivity and resilience, and the ability to get their views across clearly. If you can show you have these qualities, then please consider applying.
Kevin Barron MP
Chair of the Committee on Standards
The House of Commons was the first Parliament in the world to introduce independent scrutiny of MPs with the establishment of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards role. Since then other Parliaments have followed Westminster’s lead and now the Standards Committee which oversees the work of the Commissioner is taking this one step further.
Lay members are a vital part of many professional regulation bodies and in 2013 the House of Commons became the first Parliament to include three lay members on its Standards Committee. Over the past two years the existing lay members have become an integral part of the Committee bringing a breadth of experience and external perspectives. They have encouraged the Committee to rethink its working methods and to become a body that seeks to play a more active role in standard setting. Now with the full endorsement of the House the Committee is looking for four new lay members so that in future the Committee will be made up of seven MPs and seven lay members.
If you are interested in the health of our democracy and want to play a part in helping to ensure that the public can be confident that MPs are subject to effective scrutiny then this might be an opportunity for you.
Lay members need to bring experience of contributing to decision-making on matters where there were strong and contested views. Alongside this proven ability to consider and review large amounts of information to come to sound evidence based judgments which take account of codes of conduct, rules or organisational context will also be key.
Personal qualities will also be important as you will need confidence and strength of character to manage situations both assertively and sensitively and also to be resilient. Whilst much of the work of the Committee is low profile, individual cases can generate considerable scrutiny so you will need to be comfortable dealing with both types of work.
How to apply
The lay members will be selected on the basis of a combination of the information contained in their written application and interviews.
All applicants are required to provide the following:
- A CV (maximum three sides of A4) including any unpaid or community achievements.
- A short supporting statement (maximum three sides of A4) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the criteria for the person specification (see section 3). Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the essential experience criteria as well as showing how you meet the qualities and skills listed and any of the desirable criteria.
- The names and contact details for two referees. These must be people who know you well enough to comment on your suitability for the post and will be expected to have authoritative and personal knowledge of your achievements. References will be taken by telephone on all candidates selected for final interview as soon as the interview arrangements have been made. Referees should be advised accordingly.
As part of the online application process, you will also be asked to complete:
- A diversity monitoring form. This form will not be disclosed to anyone involved in assessing your application. (Please note - this form is an online form that will appear after you submit your application)
- A conflicts of interest form. Please give details of any business or other interests or any personal connections which, if you are appointed, could be misconstrued or cause embarrassment. Any particular conflicts of interest detailed here will not prevent you going forward to interview but may, if appropriate, be explored with you during your interviews to establish how you would address the issue(s) should you be successful in your application.
- The political activity declaration. This information will only be provided to the Panel for those applicants selected for interview. (Please note - this form is an online form that will appear after you submit your application)
Applications should be submitted only through this website. The closing date is 12 noon, Monday 16th November 2015
The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term (i.e. has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months) adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Adverse effects may arise from external barriers experienced by people with impairments. If you wish to apply and have any particular requirements in order to complete the application process please contact Eva Pertaub 020 7426 3984 or via e-mail Eva.Pertaub@GatenbySanderson.com (applications will NOT be accepted via e-mail).
The following consultants are managing this role and will be happy to answer any questions that are not covered in the person specification on the next webpage.
- Sue Jenkins
- 020 7426 3975
- Jack Whitehead
- 0113 205 6062
- Matt Malone
- 0113 205 6063