Independent report

The Continuing Importance of Ethical Standards for Public Service Providers

The Committee's eighteenth report, The Continuing Importance of Ethical Standards for Public Service Providers, published in May 2018.



After the government decided in 2013 to expand the remit of the Committee to include public service providers, the Committee on Standards in Public Life produced our first report on the issue: Ethical Standards for Providers of Public Services in 2014. That report made a series of recommendations on how the Cabinet Office and all government departments could reinforce the Seven Principles of Public Life with service providers.

This 2018 report charts progress against our 2014 recommendations in the new environment in which public service delivery is evolving, including changes to the market and changes to the civil service arising from the planned withdrawal from the European Union. In this report we find that the government has made some improvements in how it manages the ethical conduct of contractors as part of a broader maturing of outsourcing practices. But in most other areas there has been little progress in adopting the Committee’s recommendations.

The Committee makes a further set of recommendations to the Minister for the Constitution, the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and Civil Service Learning and all government departments, their permanent secretaries and boards as well as to those in professions who scrutinise government spending and accounts.

The intent of the report, like the 2014 report and 2015 guidance before it, is to embed a culture of ethical standards in service delivery.

Published 10 May 2018