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Committee Chair slams further Ofcom appointment delay

January 28, 2022

By Colin Mann

Julian Knight, Chair of the UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has criticised the extension to the deadline for applications for the post of Chair of broadcast and comms regulator Ofcom.

“The search for the next Chair of Ofcom goes on in a recruitment process that would put a reality TV series to shame,” he declared. “In an unexpected twist to the plot, would-be candidates have been given an extra seven days to apply. Not content with the outcome of the initial round of interviews, the DCMS Department restarted the appointments process using specially employed headhunters to get a better field of candidates, only to see a favourite walk away. Now, that better field of candidates is not enough. The word shambles has begun to look like an understatement,” he asserted.

“Hopefully in the case of the Ofcom Chair, we’ll see DCMS officials making the sort of employment checks on the successful candidate that anyone would expect to avoid any potential for later embarrassment. Anyone out there who’s still interested, there’s still time to apply – the new deadline is 23.59 next Wednesday,” he added.

The Government reopened the recruitment process to applications for Chair of Ofcom on January 26th. The closing date for applications is February 2nd. The current campaign to recruit to the role had begun on November 29th 2021.

Knight urged the Culture Secretary in September 2021 to rule out candidates previously deemed to be ‘unappointable’ from applying again for the post of Chair of Ofcom.

The Committee had previously questioned the lack of clarity around the need to re-run the process to appoint a new Chair of Ofcom with concern expressed at an unnecessary delay.

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