It has been the practice for governments to exercise restraint in making significant appointments in the pre-election period (the period immediately before a general election, usually about three months).
The question of which appointments are “significant” requires a case by case assessment, taking into account factors such as:
- the public profile of the position or organisation
- whether the organisation has a significant strategic or decision making role
- whether the organisation controls significant assets or funds
- whether the organisation is an executive body, as opposed to an advisory or technical one.
Appointments that are not considered to be significant may proceed in the usual way. The Cabinet Office can provide guidance and advice on precedents, and on the process to be followed if an appointment to a significant position is proposed.