The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is the independent centralised provider of recruitment, assessment and selection services for the Civil and Public Service.
An annual competition is conducted by the PAS in order to respond to requests to fill temporary clerical vacancies which arise from time to time to cover such absences as maternity leave and shorter working year. Draw down from this competition is open to all civil and public organisations, although some organisations have other arrangements in place to fill their temporary vacancies.
The 2015 competition was advertised by PAS in March, and attracted over 14,000 candidates nationally. At the first part of the selection process candidates completed an assessment questionnaire from which they were ranked. If a candidate's ranking for their pre-selected location is reached, they will be invited to interview.
The number to be invited to interview is determined by the demand from civil or public service organisations to fill temporary vacancies in a particular region. Vacancies may arise throughout the year, and interviews held from time to time as required. Offers of temporary assignments are based on qualified candidates placing in the rank order of merit.
The panels remain open for 12 months or until a new competition is held. It is not possible to predict demand for a particular location as this can vary from year to year.
Regarding the specific candidate mentioned, as the Public Appointments Service can only discuss the progress of an application with the individual concerned, I have requested that PAS communicate directly with the candidate.