The Seventh Report considered the present arrangements governing the conduct of members of the House of Lords. The Committee noted that its enquiry was not prompted by any scandal or crisis, but that it was timely and appropriate having regard, in particular, to the changes in membership of the House and the possibility that it would have a higher public profile following those changes.
The Report made 23 recommendations for consideration by the House of Lords. In framing its recommendations, the Committee relied extensively on the Seven Principles. It also had regard to the importance of ‘proportionality’ (a recommended course of action should be proportionate to the problem or deficiency which it seeks to remedy). The Committee’s recommendations included:
the adoption of a short Code of Conduct, incorporating the Seven Principles of Public Life, the guiding principles already adopted by the House of Lords, and the basic rules on registration of interests;
mandatory registration of all peers’ relevant interests;
a tightening up of the present guidance on lobbying to ensure public confidence in its propriety;
a review of the House of Lords’ induction arrangements with a view to providing more detailed guidance about the operation and scope of the conduct rules;
the appointment, where appropriate, of an ad hoc independent investigator to assist the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests in cases involving a serious allegation of misconduct.