Business Appointment Rules: Third Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence - House of Commons Papers (Paperback)
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The current Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) lacks adequate powers and resources; does not have appropriate membership for its function; and should be abolished. Instead, the Committee says, Government should legislate to establish statutory ethics regulation with a code of conduct and enforceable statutory penalties, overseen by an independent ethics Commissioner. The new Commissioner would also take over the role of the Prime Minister's Adviser on Ministers' Interests - who advises on ministerial conduct. PASC also renews their call for the power to initiate investigations into the Ministerial Code on his or her own initiative. Enforceable statutory penalties should be introduced for failing to comply with the Commissioner's recommendations. Government reforms are implementing increasingly close working between public servants and the private and voluntary sectors. Changes to public service delivery - including the outsourcing of public sector functions and the active promotion of "interchange" between sectors-are blurring the boundaries between the public sector and other organisations. This could present greater opportunities for public officials to use their position for personal gain, and may give rise to public concern about the probity of former, and serving, public officials. The Committee says that ACoBA's procedures are "opaque" and not helpful to departing public officials who may need guidance about what appointments may be regarded as inappropriate for them to take up and does nothing to deter misleading and damaging mis-reporting of individual cases
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