Use of biometric data: report of the independent advisory group

This report provides recommendations on a policy and legislative framework for police use of biometric data and associated technologies.

Appendix 8: Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group Appointments Process

Centre for Public Appointments


Body: Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group

Appointing Department: Home Office

Sectors: Education, Prison & Policing, Regulation, Science & Technology

Skills required: Change Management, Legal / Judicial, Regulation

Number of Vacancies: 9

Remuneration: The role is unremunerated, but members will be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred whilst carrying out business on behalf of the BFEG.

Time Requirements: 10 - 15 days per year

Following a Triennial Review of the National DNA Database Ethics Group, the remit of the group was expanded to provide ethical advice on all aspects of biometrics and forensics which fall within the purview of the Home Office. This led to the establishment of the BFEG.

Committee members are expected to:

Attend and contribute to quarterly BFEG meetings, and other additional subgroup meetings arranged as necessary;

Act corporately with other members to ensure that the BFEG fulfils its responsibilities by providing Ministers and the Department with impartial, independent, balanced and objective ethical advice on issues within the group’s remit.

Members also have responsibility for:

Developing the evidence base of topics under consideration to formulate advice;

Examining and challenging, if necessary, the assumptions on which advice is formulated;

Ensuring that the BFEG has the opportunity to consider the available evidence on a given issue, contrary views, and, where appropriate the concerns and values of stakeholders before a decision is taken; and

Ensuring the BFEG acts in accordance with the Code of Practice for members, which incorporates the Seven Principles of Public Life and Code of Practice for Science Advisory Committees.

Person Specification

The BFEG is seeking up to nine new members. You should have demonstrable expertise in either:

genetics, forensic science, biometric data, data protection and the ethics of consent including working with large data sets, experimental design, police service, social science, political science/political scientist, medical science or the law and be able to develop their ethical knowledge and expertise;


in ethics and demonstrable experience of applying this to issues across the biometric, forensic and criminal justice arena and one or more of the specialisms that underpin them.

In addition to the above your supporting statement should provide evidence of your skills and experience against the essential and desirable selection criteria set out below. Please be clear about the scale and significance of your role/achievement. The evidence you provide against the selection criteria will be used by the selection panel to determine your suitability for the role.

Essential Skills and Experience

An understanding of the breadth and depth of ethical issues related to the collection, storage and use of biometric and forensic information and data.

The ability to think logically and objectively to analyse complex information from diverse sources, identify key issues and make effective impartial and balanced decisions.

Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with committee members and stakeholders and to actively and constructively contribute to discussions, negotiating between conflicting opinions and values and generating options to reach consensus.

The confidence to deal with difficult situations sensitively, and to take and be accountable for decisions.

An appreciation of equality and diversity and a willingness to champion difference.

An awareness of how the views of the scientific community and the public are changing politically and socially.


Evidence of working successfully in a professional, community or voluntary capacity on committees or other decision-making groups and reaching impactful and timely conclusions.

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have or to obtain security clearance to Security Check ( SC) level.

The Home Office is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation and transgender.

OCPA Regulated

This post is regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.


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