Public Appointments Commissioner calls for change to “elite” membership of NI Boards

This one seems to have one a bit unnoticed in the media. The BBC reported two weeks ago, the comments of John Keanie the Northern Ireland Public Appointments Commissioner.

He complained about a lack of diversity in the membership of the boards of public organisations. According to his publications (here and here) there is a gross over representation of older white men: even worse than their over representation on such organisations in mainland GB. He also suggests that there is a perception that board positions are for “an elite”.

Other questions on diversity might also be asked: the political views of the board members would be very interesting. Indeed such is the nature of NI society that is might be reasonable to ask for a breakdown by unionist: nationalist (and just as relevantly letsgetalongerist).

The other question, which is of course, beyond Mr. Keanie’s remit is whether Northern Ireland needs 100 of these different bodies with 1,400 members. In a time of austerity when we are cutting the number of public sector jobs it might be reasonable to suggest that the number of these organisations could be radically reduced.