Richard Thomas, member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, talks about the committee’s report on ethics for regulators.
Regulators play a central role in public life, dealing with a very wide range of commercial and non-market activity at national and local levels. Created to operate in the public interest, their decisions impact on individuals and organisations. Like much of the public sector, regulators face reduced expenditure and unprecedented scrutiny on how they operate. It is critical therefore, that regulators are robustly independent of those they regulate and demonstrate high standards with their own activities and decisions.
The Committee intends to undertake a short review of ‘Ethics for Regulators’ as set out in its 2015-2016 business plan to explore how regulators live up to the 7 principles of public life.
The Committee conducted a ‘health-check’ of the way in which regulators manage ethical issues in their own organisations and the extent to which the unique characteristics of regulators create or demand any specifically tailored ethical solutions. The Committee has asked a wide range of regulatory bodies about their ethical standards, in order to gather evidence for the next steps of the review. The Committee will publish an overview of the issues raised in the Autumn.