New Lead Non-Executive Director appointed for OSSS and OAG

Tom Harris has been appointed as the Lead Non-Executive Director for the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (OSSS) and the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland (OAG). His appointment will last three years.

Mr Harris is a journalist and former Labour MP who served as a Minister for Transport from 2006 to 2008. He is currently a Non-Executive Director on the HS2 Board.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:

I am very pleased to welcome Tom Harris as Lead Non-Executive Director for the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland.

Tom has extensive experience, as well as an excellent understanding of Scottish public life. He brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and skills in policy, strategy and communications.

As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, recovery remains our top priority. I’m very pleased to have Tom on board to further strengthen the UK Government’s capabilities as we build back better for Scotland.

Tom Harris said:

I’m delighted to have been appointed to this role and I’m looking forward to contributing to the effective work of the UK Government in Scotland. This is an exciting time to be involved in advising and helping ministers deliver for the whole country.

Non-Executive Board Members are senior figures from outside government, appointed to provide expert external advice and challenge to government departments. As set out in the UK Government’s Corporate Governance Code for Central Government Departments, Lead Non-Executive Board Members should be appointed directly by the Secretary of State and approved by the Prime Minister – they are not Civil Servants.

Their role is to:

  • Give advice to Ministers and officials on the operational and delivery implications of policy proposals;
  • Provide independent support, guidance and challenge on the progress and implementation of the department’s strategic direction; and
  • Advise on performance and monitor implementation of the department’s business plans.

Tom Harris will sit on the OSSS and OAG joint management board, alongside Non-Executive Directors Stuart Patrick, Martin Dorchester and Ross Finnie.

The position for Lead Non-Executive Director was advertised openly on the UK Government Cabinet Office Public Appointments website. The appointment was made by the Scottish Secretary and approved by the Prime Minister following panel assessment at both sift and interview stage.

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