Independent report

Getting the balance right: Implementing standards of conduct in public life

The tenth report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, published January 2005

Documents

Tenth Report – Getting the balance right: Implementing standards of conduct in public life - Full Report

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Tenth Report – Getting the balance right: Implementing standards of conduct in public life - Summary

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Detail

Concentrating on issues of proportionality within selected standards regulators, this report examined:

Appointments and reappointments to public bodies (not to the civil service) The ethical standards framework for local government Whether the Seven Principles of Public Life are being embedded into organisational culture. The report found that regulatory regimes in England for Ministerial public appointments and the handling of complaints against local authority councillors had made some progress, but made 38 new recommendations to address significant structural and organisational weaknesses.

These included:

The adoption of Annual Public Appointment Plans by departments A clearer definition of acceptable Ministerial involvement in specific appointments The creation of a Board of Public Commissioners to help a small number of departments produce their Annual Plans; A number of other changes to the 2002 Public Appointments Order in Council; Making the ethical standards framework for local government locally based for the initial handling, investigation and determination of most cases. There were a substantial number of recommendations on redesigning the Standards Board for England and changing the functions of local authority Standards Committees.

Recommendations were also made on on embedding best practice in ethical standards through the adoption of self-assessment tools such as the Audit Commission’s Changing Organisational Culture Audit.