The eighth report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, published November 2002
In publishing its review of progress of the first seven reports, the Committee announced its intention to follow this up in due course with a review of the implementation, delivery and outcomes of each of the original reports.
Accordingly, the eighth report began this process by reviewing the recommendations about the House of Commons contained in the First and Sixth Reports. The Committee had also become involved in correspondence with the Speaker in 2001 about the decision not to re-appoint Ms Elizabeth Filkin as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
The eighth report contained 27 recommendations on maintaining and improving the processes for upholding high standards of conduct in the House. These covered the code of Conduct, the Committee on Standards and Privileges and the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner. Recommendations included:
The Parliamentary Commissioner should initiate a review of the Code and the Guide to the Rules once every Parliament; The House should establish an Investigatory Panel to handle serious, contested cases of alleged misconduct; The Parliamentary Commissioner should be clearly defined as an office-holder and Appointed for a non-renewable fixed term of between five and seven years; The Commissioner should publish an Annual Report The Commissioner should have powers to call for witnesses and papers An explicit requirement in the Ministerial Code for MPs who are Ministers to co-operate with any investigation at all stages.