HC Deb 16 July 1998 vol 316 c256W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was the process whereby Lord Puttnam was appointed chairman of NESTA; who made the decision; what consultations were carried out; what are his terms of employment and salary; and what is his budget for staff and expenses. [50737]

Mr. Chris Smith

The process for the appointment of the Chairman of NESTA was based on the principles set down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Potential candidates were generated from several sources, including a widespread consultation exercise in which over 250 bodies were asked to suggest names, advertisements in national newspapers and suggestions from within Government. All candidates were considered objectively against the same criteria. Lord Puttnam was one of a number who were interviewed by a panel with independent membership. On the basis of its consideration of written applications and of its interviews, the panel recommended to me that Lord Puttnam was eminently suitable for appointment and, in the light of this he was appointed by me after further consultation with colleagues in Government.

Lord Puttnam has been appointed for a period of three years from 13 July 1998, at a salary of £22,000 per annum for two days' work per week. The budget for NESTA's staff and expenses will be a matter for NESTA's Board, within the resources available to them. The National Lottery Act 1998 allows me to place a limit or limits on NESTA's running costs expenditure, including staffing costs. I have not currently set any such limit. I and my Ministerial colleagues have however repeatedly made clear that we see NESTA and a slimline, unbureaucratic body employing no more than thirty staff.