Independent report

Local government ethical standards: report

The Committee's twentieth report, Local Government Ethical Standards, published 30 January 2019.


Local Government Ethical Standards report

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


The Committee has had a long-standing interest in local government, which was the subject of its third report, and which it has considered a number of times since then.

We considered whether there was a need for a centralised body to govern and adjudicate on standards. We concluded that whilst the consistency and independence of the system could be enhanced, there was no need to reintroduce a centralised body, and that local authorities should retain ultimate responsibility for implementing and applying the Seven Principles of Public Life in local government.

We made a number of recommendations and identified best practice to improve ethical standards in local government. We recommend a number of changes to primary legislation, which would be subject to Parliamentary timetabling; but also to secondary legislation and the Local Government Transparency Code, which we hope could be implemented more swiftly. Our best practice recommendations for local authorities should be considered a benchmark of good ethical practice, which we expect that all local authorities can and should implement.

Published 30 January 2019