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To ask the Scottish Government whether the UK Government has implemented recommendation 4.21 of the Commission on Scottish Devolution and, if so, when it came into effect, what posts in Scotland it applies to, and whether it will apply to the appointment of a new Permanent Secretary.

Answered by John Swinney (09/02/2015):

The UK Government accepted recommendation 4.21:

Recommendation 4.21: The responsibility for appointing, or approving appointments of, senior civil servants to senior posts in the Scottish Government should be delegated by the Prime Minister to the Head of the Home Civil Service, acting on the advice of the UK Civil Service Commissioners.

Authority to appoint permanent secretaries and director generals in Scotland has now been formally delegated to the Head of the Civil Service.

The advice of the UK Civil Service Commissioners is contained in the recruitment principles for appointments to the civil service. In line with the commission’s revised recruitment principles (December 2014), the First Minister will make the final selection decision in relation to the appointment of a permanent secretary in the Scottish Government. This provides formal delegation of authority.

For director general roles in the Scottish Government the recommendations of the selection panel are approved by the Head of the Civil Service following agreement by the First Minister or by the cabinet secretary most closely associated with the appointment having discussed with the First Minister.

Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 09/02/2015
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