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Make public appointments more diverse

Public boards do not reflect the make-up of wider society but progress is being made

By Susanna Smith  

A street sign for Downing Street and Whitehall, Westminster, central London. Picture dated: Friday April 28, 2017. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.

Thousands of board members are appointed to public bodies every year. These range from organisations like the Student Loans Company and Environment Agency to lesser-known ones like the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Most are ministerial appointments, although some individuals are chosen directly by the Queen or prime minister, and a handful, such as appointments to the Office for Budget Responsibility and Electoral Commission, require parliamentary approval. How these organisations are governed has significant impact on citizens’ daily lives, but the most recent public appointments data shows that the…

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