Prof Roy Anderson - CSA to the MODThe public first became aware of a vacancy for the CSA at the MOD via an advert in the TIMES on the 26th Feb 2004, one posted in NATURE the next day, and one in the SUNDAY TIMES on the 29th Feb 2004.Applications closed on the 19th Mar 2004. The Press Release advising the public that Prof Roy Anderson was the new CSA at the MOD was issued on the 18th Jul 2004.I received a letter from, "The Office of the Civil Service Commissioners" after I enquired if their selection procedures were activated for the CSA post - as I was not happy that somebody who fed the government (and public) with FMD models in 2001 that proved to be unadulterated garbage and were instrumental in the, "carnage by computer" was now going to play any part in MOD affairs!The "competition" was Chaired by Baroness Usha Prasha CBE.
Ninth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life - April 2003
1513.Baroness Prashar: Let me tell you, I have only had experience of being the First Commissioner for the last two years and I have to say that the way I got appointed has not really affected the independence, or the way in which we have operated. But I think if you wanted to make it an issue which everybody else took an interest in, then whereas at the moment after competition the person is approved by Prime Minister and then recommended, after checking with Scotland and Wales, it could in future be cleared with the opposition leaders as well so that they all felt they were satisfied with the appointment of the First Commissioner and the other part time commissioners. So, that would, I think, mean that they all took interest in it.
1523. Now, like you said, we also had discussions with the private sector and what they said was that they invest a lot of time if they want somebody from the outside, and it can take sometimes up to six months. So, compared to what happens elsewhere, I do not think eight to ten weeks is a very long time. The other thing, to say is that speed does not necessarily mean that you get the right person. Because in my experience if you rush an appointment, if you do not give enough time in terms of advertising and so on and so forth, then you do not get the right people. So, I think sometimes hasty decisions can, in the long run, be negative. But that is not to say that we do not do everything in our power to make sure that competitions take a short time. But I think you have to balance between getting the right person for the job and speed.
If you ask me, placing one-off adverts in the TIMES and one in a magazine called NATURE, and then the blank space until applications closed after 23 days is a bit blinkered, fast, and short run.
It is all water under the bridge now!
Captain Bryn Wayt