Are government departmental boards working?


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Departmental boards were introduced to bring private sector oversight into central government departments. But how are people appointed as departmental non-executive directors? What experience do they bring? And what advice do they give to ministers? A recent Institute for Government report exposed how the system lacks transparency and is inconsistently applied. Ministers can appoint non-executive directors without due process, and the influence of a department’s board depends on whether a minister chooses to engage with it or not. So what can be done to make more use of board members’ expertise? What changes could help boards to improve departmental performance? What can be done to improve the transparency of board appointments? To discuss these questions, the Institute for Government is delighted to bring together an expert panel: Sue Langley, lead non-executive director for the Home Office and former interim government lead non-executive Sir David Lidington, former Secretary of State for Justice, Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for the Cabinet Office Dame Una O’Brien, former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health Miranda Curtis, Director at Liberty Global and former lead non-executive director for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office The event will be chaired by Dr Matthew Gill, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government.

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