Committee on Standards in Public Life
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Annual Report 2012/13

The Committee reports on a review of ethics and best practice, its fifth biennial survey of public attitudes to conduct in public life, the Triennial Review of the Committee and registers current risks to standards in public life, with a foreword from the incoming Chair Lord Bew.


As the incoming Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, it is a pleasure to thank the outgoing Chairman, Sir Christopher Kelly for his work. To take but one example, the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill introduced in the Commons on the 9 May 2013 allows for transparency in donations and loans to political parties, as well as ending the practice of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly holding dual mandates to sit concurrently in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the House of Commons. This broad approach reflects the work over recent years of both Sir Christopher Kelly himself and the recommendations of the Committee.

This September the Committee will be holding an evidence gathering seminar on lobbying reflecting the concerns of the Committee about unequal access to decision makers and inadequate transparency. The Committee intend to make recommendations to inform and complement the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill. I would like to thank David Prince, the interim Chairman, for taking this work forward, for holding the fort since the end of Sir Christopher’s term of office and for giving me much helpful advice.

The current context of the Committee’s work is very much set out in the recent Triennial Review carried out by Peter Riddell of the Institute of Government. The Government has, in substance, accepted the Review and in doing so recognised the valuable role played by the Committee and the evolving nature of the issues it tackles. As elsewhere in Whitehall, there will be a significant reduction in the budget and certain aspects of the Committee’s work will not be carried on as in the past. The Triennial Review also asked the Committee to be more strategic in its practice and look ahead to emerging problems. This is a serious challenge but it is one that has to be accepted. It remains the case, however, that the best work of the Committee has involved the building up of consensus based on substantial research. This is likely to be the case in the future as in the past.

Download 2012/13 Annual Report.

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