Chair, Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA)

Body: Cabinet Office
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sector: Regulation
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: A non-pensionable honorarium of £8,000 is payable
Time Requirements: The Chair is expected to commit an average of 2-3 days a month to this role. This would usually be spread over the month through regular email correspondence most weeks, rather than as whole or half day units. This offers considerable flexibility for managing the timing of individual contributions (e.g. you might choose to correspond during the working day, or not). The level of work can vary from week to week and month to month. Much of the Committee’s work is undertaken by correspondence; however, the Committee also meets regularly in London (usually around 4-6 times a year). The Chair meets with stakeholders, such as departmental Permanent Secretaries on an ad hoc basis throughout the year; and the Committee may on occasion meet in London to discuss an appointment with an applicant.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove has today confirmed that Lord (Eric) Pickles has been appointed as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA). He will take up the role on 1 April 2020.

Date: 20/03/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


  • Pre-appointment scrutiny hearing



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Chair leads the Committee to act independently to advise Government and former Ministers on its decisions under the Rules. Applications are assessed case-by-case on their individual merits. This is a high profile Committee, which attracts considerable public and media interest.  

The Committee is supported by a Secretariat, which currently consists of 3 team members and sits within the Civil Service Commission, to remain independent of its sponsoring department – the Cabinet Office.   

The Chair is appointed by the Prime Minister for a five year non-renewable term.

Legitimate expenses, including travel and subsistence costs, will be paid. 

In addition, all members of the Committee must:

  • ensure they understand their duties, rights and responsibilities, and that they are familiar with the function and role of ACOBA and any relevant statements of government policy. New Committee members will be briefed on these issues by the Secretariat;
  • ensure they act in accordance with the Code of Practice for members and the Seven Principles of Public Life;
  • comply with any rules set by the Committee regarding remuneration and allowances, the reimbursement of expenses and the acceptance of gifts and hospitality; and
  • not misuse information gained in the course of their public service for personal gain or for political purpose, nor seek to use the role of public service to promote their private interests or those of closely connected persons, firms, businesses or other organisations.

Person Specification

All candidates must demonstrate, in their CV and supporting letter, how they meet the following criteria, through their knowledge, skills and experience.

Due to the nature and high profile of ACoBA, the work and decisions often attract considerable public and media interest. The candidate should therefore be someone of outstanding integrity and be open to considering how the role and purpose of ACoBA could be reviewed and clarified to assure the public they can have full confidence in appropriate challenges and decisions. 

Essential criteria

We are seeking to recruit an experienced non-executive Committee member who can demonstrate competencies in the following areas:

  • Ability to lead a diverse team of influential people, and a personal style that demonstrates authority and inspires trust and confidence; 
  • Excellent judgment, together with the ability to command the confidence of Parliament and the public, and Ministers, civil servants and other Crown servants subject to the Business Appointment Rules;
  • Ability to analyse complex information from a range of sources, identify key issues and make objective and balanced decisions on complex issues.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral); 
  • Experience of acting with autonomy and resilience in the face of external pressures; and
  • Personal integrity and strength of character.


Desirable criteria

  • Experience of dealing with conflicts of interest

Additional Information

For this post, a person cannot be appointed as a Committee Member if he or she is employed in the civil service of the state, has unspent criminal convictions, is subject to bankruptcy, or disqualification as a company director. There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.

How to Apply

In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation:

  1. A Curriculum Vitae with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history
  2. An accompanying Supporting Letter (maximum 2 A4 pages) – setting out your suitability for the role and how you meet the essential and desirable skills set out in the person specification – please ensure your full name is clearly noted at the top of your letter.
  3. Equal opportunities monitoring form – this form will not be disclosed to the panel involved in assessing your application.
  4. Political activity form
  5. Conflicts of interest declaration
  6. Details of any public appointments currently held
  7. Names and contact details of two referees who may be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview
  8. Disability Confident – Offering an interview to disabled people declaration (if applicable)

Sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are enclosed in a separate Monitoring Forms document.

Please send all the above required application documents to:

If you are unable to email your application, you can send it in the post to:

Propriety and Ethics Team

Room 208

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall/1 Horse Guards Road

London SW1A 2HQ

Please note that applications may be passed, in confidence, to the Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPA) and the Commissioner’s auditors for the purposes of complaints investigation and audit (4.4 of the Governments Govern

Public-Appointments-Monitoring-Forms- (2)
ACoBA interview-for-disabled-form
2019-09-23 ACOBA Chair Candidate Pack
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