Lord Chancellor Michael Gove has brought former colleagues from his days in charge of education onto the Ministry of Justice’s board of non-executive members, the full line-up of which was announced today.
Not long into his new role as justice secretary following May’s general election, Gove oversaw a complete shake-up of the non-executive board after the entire team departed in June.
Sir Theodore Agnew, ‘on the recommendation of the [justice secretary]’ according to the ministry’s 2014-15 annual report and accounts, joined the board in June. He has accepted his appointment as lead non-executive, the ministry said today.
Agnew spent five years as a non-executive board member at the Department for Education where, the ministry said, ‘he helped drive efficiencies and improve departmental performance’. Agnew co-founded business process outsourcing company WNS Group in 1990 and went on to found private equity firm Somerton Capital LLP in 2007. He was knighted this year for services to education.
Agnew will be joined by communications specialist Lizzie Noel, who helped ministers implement academies and free schools when she was at the DoE between 2009 and 2012.
Non-executives, the ministry said, ‘are senior figures from outside the department who bring a diverse mix of expertise and skills from across the public and private sector’. Part of their remit is ‘to give guidance to MoJ leaders and ministers’ and ‘support and challenge management of the department’s strategic direction’.
In June, the ministry was told it would have to find a further £249m of savings this year as part of a fresh round of spending reductions following Whitehall’s in-year budget review.
This could explain the appointment of senior finance executive Liz Doherty, who helped deliver £50m in savings over five years for supermarket giant Tesco when she was its group international finance director.
Doherty also spent three years as chief financial officer at consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser. Announcing her departure in September 2012, Reckitt Benckiser's chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said ‘Liz and I have agreed that RB’s and her way of working are not as well matched as either of us would like and now is the right time for her to move to a new opportunity’.
Sir Martin Narey, the first chief executive of the National Offender Management Service and former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, ‘brings considerable experience from outside the public sector’, the ministry said.