Select Committee on Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Report

7  Review and forward look

7.1  When I arrived on 1 January 2008 to take up my role as Standards Commissioner, I inherited a standards framework well built on a solid foundation, a set of robust procedures for dealing with complaints, good working relationships with Members and others, and a dedicated and helpful team of staff. For this I pay tribute to my immediate predecessor Sir Philip Mawer, and to those who went before him.

7.2  Any standards framework must be robust enough to be able to adapt to meet the changing demands upon it. My short period as Commissioner has already seen change in the form of an important extension to the Register of Members' Interests, so that Members will in future register family members whom they employ who are paid from the parliamentary allowances. I am sure that further changes will arise in 2008-09.

7.3  Another important development in 2007-08 was the review of Members' allowances begun by the Members Estimate Committee in the early months of 2008, which drew attention both to the allowances regime, and because some of the Commissioner's current inquiries related to those allowances, to the work of the Commissioner. It is for the House itself to determine any future arrangements for Members' allowances and the rules which govern those arrangements. My responsibility will be to ensure that issues relating to Members' conduct in respect of any revised arrangements, as with those in the past, are investigated fairly with the right degree of thoroughness, and with equity and consistency.

7.4  I expect that if the House agrees, the coming year is likely to see the introduction of the new arrangements for streamlining the reporting of Members' interests for inclusion in the Register of Members' Interests while simultaneously meeting the statutory requirements of the Electoral Commission. My office will work closely with the Electoral Commission and others to put such new arrangements into effect.

7.5  I therefore look forward to serving the House in the coming year and to helping to ensure that the standards system for Members meets their needs and the needs of those whom they serve.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 17 July 2008