Lay Member, Standards Committee x 2 (This is a Fixed Term Contract of Six Years)

House of Commons

London

Ref: GSe81589

There is an expected time commitment of three to four days per month (including meetings on Tuesday mornings). This is a Fixed Term of Six Years.

The UK Parliament was the first in the world to introduce independent scrutiny of MPs with the establishment of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards role and the appointment of lay members to the House of Commons Committee on Standards. Selected via open and fair competition, lay members have become an integral part of the Committee, bringing breadth of experience and external perspectives.  They play a full role in the Committee’s work, equal in numbers to the MPs on the Committee and with full voting rights, involved in both disciplinary cases and inquiries related to broader standards matters.

The House of Commons is seeking to appoint a talented individual whose skills, perspectives and experience will enrich the Committee and its decision-making.

Lay members should bring experience of contributing to decision-making on sensitive matters where there were strong and contested views; and of working with colleagues to come to an agreed approach. Alongside this, proven ability to consider and review large volumes of information to reach sound, evidence-based judgments which take account of codes of conduct, rules, or organisational context will be vital.  Experience of working strategically with or within complex environments to develop and improve systems and processes is also essential, as are a general understanding of Parliament’s role in a representative democracy, and the role of MPs.  Other required qualities, including personal ones, are set out in the information pack available to candidates.

Some track record of contributing to a regulatory or disciplinary environment may prove helpful to a candidate but is not essential.

Lay members must be, and be seen to be, politically neutral. They must demonstrate complete impartiality during their time on the Committee and should not during their term of office undertake any party-political activity or belong or donate to a political party. Please note that individuals are ineligible for this role if they are current or former MPs or Peers or if they have been involved in party political activity or have been a member of or donated to a political party during the five years before their application was submitted.

Please Note:

These appointments require the highest standards of propriety, involving impartiality, integrity and objectivity, in relation to the stewardship of public funds and the oversight and management of all related activities. This means that any private, voluntary, charitable, or political interest which might be material and relevant to the work of the body concerned should be declared. It is important, therefore, that you consider your circumstances when applying for this appointment and identify any potential conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived.

There is a requirement to declare any actual or potential conflict of interest you may have in being appointed in a separate form.  Any actual or perceived conflicts of interest will be fully explored by the Panel at interview stage.

A key stage of the recruitment process is that the successful candidate's appointment will be debated in the House of Commons, a public event where their CV may be discussed.  Candidates should be aware of this.

Further Information

Outlined below are questions we are most frequently asked about the Lay Member appointments, and corresponding answers.

Can I apply if I am a registered member of a political party?
Individuals are ineligible for this role if they are current or former MPs or Peers or if they have been involved in party political activity (as defined above pages 5/6) or have been a member of or donated to a political party during the five years before their application was submitted.

What interests should I declare?
The purpose of these provisions is to avoid any danger of lay members being influenced, or appearing to be influenced, by their private interests in the exercise of their public duties. There is a requirement to declare any actual or potential conflict of interest you may have in being appointed in a separate form.  Any actual or perceived conflicts of interest will be fully explored by the Panel at interview stage.

Can I apply for this role if I do not live in the UK?
Applicants should be aware that if they have resided outside of the UK for a total of more than two of the last five years, they are not eligible for appointment.

Is the role paid, and are expenses reimbursed?
This is a remunerated non-executive position currently paying £600 per 8-hour day (proportionate to actual hours worked, including preparation time). All reasonable out-of-pocket expenses wholly, exclusively, and properly incurred will be reimbursed (subject to providing vouchers, receipts, or other evidence of actual payment of such expenses and subject to the arrangement being specifically agreed in advance). Expenses incurred by candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed except in exceptional circumstances and only when agreed in advance.

What are the House of Commons Recess dates?
Please follow this link https://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/business-faq-page/recess-dates/

What is the time commitment?
The appointment will be for a fixed term of six years. The tenure is non-renewable. In total, candidates should be willing to dedicate around three to four days a month when Parliament is sitting to the Standards Committee.

When are meetings held, and will I need to be available at short notice?
The Committee is likely to meet about two or three times a month on average when Parliament is sitting, dependent on workload. It is usually possible to schedule meeting dates some time in advance, but the Committee may need to meet at short notice and may sometimes delegate work to one or more sub-committees which would hold separate meetings.   Meetings are currently held on a Tuesday at 9.45 am, so candidates must be regularly available on Tuesday mornings

When would I be expected to start if successful?
Successful candidates should be available to take up post as soon as possible, ideally in May 2022.

Has COVID-19 impacted the work of the Committee?
During the earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic, all meetings of the Committee were held remotely, but in accordance with House policy for select committees, physical-only meetings at Westminster have now resumed.

 

Recruitment Timetable


Closing date
Monday 28 February 2022 9am


Consultants’ sift of applications
w/c 28 February 2022


Long listing
w/c 7 March 2022


Preliminary interviews
w/c 7 and 14 March 2022


Short listing
w/c 21 March


Final panel
Friday 1 April


House of Commons Commission meeting
Monday 25 April 2022


Security clearance and decision by House
After 25 April 2022


How to apply

The lay members will be selected on the basis of a combination of a written application and interview.

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 two sides of A4) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the criteria for the role.  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. Please include the details in your CV.

As part of the online application process, you will also be asked to complete:

  • 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 interview to establish how you would address the issue(s) should you be successful in your application.
  • The political activity declaration.  For background on this, see above under ‘Eligibility: political activity’ above.
  • A diversity monitoring form.  This form will not be disclosed to anyone involved in assessing your application and will appear onscreen when you apply.

A key stage of the recruitment process is that the successful candidate's appointment will be debated in the House of Commons, a public event where their CV may be discussed.  Candidates should be aware of this.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

  • The Administration is a committed Disability Confident employer and as such, operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for candidates with a disability. We are committed to interviewing all applicants with a disability who provide evidence of meeting the minimum requirements necessary for the post, as set out in this applicant pack. 
  • To be eligible, your disability must be within the definition laid down in the Equality Act 2010.  A disabled person is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as someone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities.  For the purposes of this policy, these words have the following meanings:
  • ‘substantial’ means more than minor or trivial.
  • ‘long-term’ means that the effect of the impairment has lasted, or is likely to last, 12 months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)
  • ‘Normal day-to-day activities’ include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping.
  • Should you consider yourself eligible to apply for this post under the GIS, please complete the form available on the GatenbySanderson website when you submit your application.

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 form please contact GatenbySanderson at laymemberhoc@gatenbysanderson.com (please note, however, that applications will not be accepted via e-mail).


Applications should be submitted by the closing date/time of 9.00 am, Monday 28 February 2022.

You will receive an automatic acknowledgement. If you do not receive this within 48 hours, please email GatenbySanderson at laymemberhoc@gatenbysanderson.com.

 

The below dates reflect the current provisional timetable and may be subject to change

Documents

  1. Please Complete - House of Commons - Lay member - Recruitment Diversity Monitoring Questions.docx
  2. Please Complete - House of Commons - Lay Member, Standard Committee - Political Activity Questionnaire Form.docx
  3. Please Complete - House of Commons - Lay Member, Standards Committee- Conflicts of Interest Form.docx