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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Section 15: Definition of “special adviser”

110.Section 15 makes provision about the appointment of special advisers and their terms and conditions of appointment. Special adviser appointments by a Minister of the Crown are approved by the Prime Minister. Special advisers appointed to assist Scottish or Welsh Ministers must be selected for appointment by the First Minister for Scotland or Wales as appropriate.

111.The terms and conditions of all special advisers are approved by the Minister for the Civil Service. Appointments of special advisers are exempt from the requirement in section 10 of selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. In each administration, a special adviser appointment ends when the appointing Minister’s term of office ends. In the UK Government, this is the earlier of either the date on which the Minister ceases to hold office or the end of the day after the day of the parliamentary election following appointment. In the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, this is when the First Minister’s term of office ends. Under subsection (2), appointments made by a person acting as First Minister during a vacancy in that office end when that person ceases to act as First Minister.

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