The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life has today announced that it will be carrying out a review of the institutions, processes and structures in place to support high standards of conduct.
The review will look at best practice and identify any themes and gaps in the way the Seven Principles of Public Life are promoted and maintained.
Announcing the review, Committee Chair, Jonathan Evans said:
“There are now a wide range of different bodies involved in investigating, promoting, and maintaining standards, based on the Nolan principles – some as a result of the Committee’s recommendations over the last 25 years.
“As well as sharing any lessons learned and best practice, we will consider whether there are gaps or issues that require further work. We want to check whether the Nolan principles are well understood, properly embedded and that they continue to reflect the standards expected by the public of those that serve them.
“High standards are a public good. They improve predictability and promote better outcomes for society, increasing public confidence and the functioning of the economy. The Committee last undertook a strategic review of standards structures in 2013. Back then, our predecessors concluded that the institutions, processes and codes of conduct were in place but that organisations needed to work harder to fully embed a culture of high standards.
“Standards issues change and evolve over time. Organisations and institutions need to have the right culture and processes in place to maintain high standards of conduct, with the ability to properly and fairly investigate standards issues where necessary.
“The Committee is launching an open consultation today and will be talking to regulators, academics and parliamentarians, as well as carrying out research with the public as part of this review. We intend to report to the Prime Minister in Summer 2021 with our findings and recommendations.
“We published research mapping the standards regulators last year. The Committee is aware that public perceptions of standards remain low, as they have for many years in fact. We want to look at what is working well and what more needs to be done to support high standards of conduct across public life.”
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