Zac Goldsmith – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Zac Goldsmith on 2015-02-20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recruitment process was used when hiring Simon Baugh, Group Director of Communications for his Department; and what role Mr Baugh will have in his Department after the Airports Commission has made its recommendation on airport expansion in the South East.

Claire Perry

The recruitment process for this role followed the legal principle that a person’s selection must be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. The process was overseen at all stages by a Civil Service Commissioner and managed by executive search firm Odgers Berndston. The role was advertised nationally in September 2014, and the process that then followed comprised longlisting, shortlisting, psychometric testing and final interviews by a panel. The panel was chaired by the Civil Service Commissioner and otherwise comprised Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Transport; Alex Aitken, Executive Director of Government Communications, Cabinet Office; David Prout, Director General, High Speed Rail, Department for Transport; and Alison Rumsey, Group HR Director, Department for Transport. Prior to final panel interviews the shortlisted candidates met the Permanent Secretary and the Secretary of State for conversations in which the candidates had the opportunity to ask questions about the Department. The meetings with the Secretary of State were observed by representatives from the Civil Service Commissioner’s office in line with Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. As Mr Baugh was previously employed by Heathrow Airport Ltd, he will not be involved in advising Ministers on issues relating to the work of the Airports Commission for the 6 months following his appointment, which starts on 30 March 2015.