Top tech execs join civil service recruitment watchdog

Newly announced appointees to the Civil Service Commission bring with them significant experience of tech industry

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The four newly unveiled members of the Civil Service Commission have brought with them significant experience of the technology industry.

The quartet, whose appointment was announced by Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi, will each serve five-year fixed terms starting from this week.

They will support the work of the commission in overseeing civil service appointments. This includes a commissioner sitting on the interview panel for the most senior recruits, as well as a wider brief to ensure hiring is “on merit [and] on the basis of fair and open competition”, according the to government. The commission also hears appeals raised in regard to alleged breaches of the Civil Service Code – a set of guidelines which lays sets out professional and behavioural standards for officials.

The new appointees will serve under first civil service commissioner – and former Labour MP and Vote Leave chair – Baroness Gisela Stuart.

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Joining the commission this week is Atul Devani, whom the government described as a “serial entrepreneur who founded and sold several successful software technology ventures”. Alongside him is Elizabeth Walmsley whose career encompasses “extensive commercial experience in science, engineering, new technology”.

Asset manager Stephen Cohen, meanwhile, is appointed to the commission having previously worked with portfolios comprised of interests in IT, business development, and operations. The final addition is Christopher Pilgrim, formerly chief HR officer of energy firm Npower.

Zahawi said the four would “bring a variety of expertise” to help ensure that senior civil servants are recruited on merit after fair and open competitions.

Stuart added: “Their extensive experience and expertise from leadership roles and boards in other sectors will enrich the commission’s work both as an independent regulator of recruitment into the civil service and in hearing complaints under the Civil Service Code. I look forward to working with them as commissioners, helping to ensure we have an effective civil service, appointed on merit, to develop and deliver government services across the country.”


Sam Trendall

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