Nick Raynsford, minister for local government, announced the search by paying praise to Dame Helena and her term at the commission.
Last year she resigned from her position as chairman of the Lottery Commission following controversy prompted by the reawarding of the franchise to Camelot.
Raynsford said: ‘Over the last three years she has overseen substantial change at the commission. She has built strong and constructive relationships with the local government and health communities and focused closely on outcomes and the public experience of services.’
Dame Helena steered the commission through the introduction of Best Value, one of the biggest reforms to local government since the war.
She was appointed to the commission in 1995 and became chairman in December 1998.
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