Civil Service Commission

Recruitment to Extended Ministerial Offices (15 October 2013)


The Government announced in the Civil Service Reform Plan: One Year On that it intended to establish Extended Ministerial Offices (EMOs), which would be staffed by civil servants, special advisers and external policy experts (recruited as civil servants) who had been personally selected by the Minister.

In response to this, the Civil Service Commission has introduced new rules to ensure that, in making appointments to EMOs, there remains a clear distinction between civil servants, who must be able to operate impartially and objectively, and special advisers.   The law requires that selection for the Civil Service must be on merit, following fair and open competition, unless the Civil Service Commission has agreed that an appointment may be excepted from that requirement.  Exceptions, which are set out in the Commission’s Recruitment Principles, typically cover time-limited appointments or secondments to meet urgent business or to bring in specialists and experts.

The Commission plans to review the Recruitment Principles and to consult on the outcome of that review in 2014.

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