Headlines: January 13th, 2000

No Parliament, Government or public servant can afford to be complacent about probity.That is the analysis of the latest report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Its sixth report reviews Lord Nolan’s original investigation, including its seven principles of public life, five years on.

It warns that since Nolan, discussion of conduct in public life is not as ‘fevered’, but can return to newspaper front pages rapidly if a new scandal  arises.

It also points out that the great deal of changes being introduced in the public sector, at great speed, have implications for standards.

One key recommendation is to safeguard the core values of the civil service and put the Civil Service Code on a statutory footing.

And it recommends ethical training for newcomers, following the report by Cabinet Secretary Sir Richard Wilson proposing more short-term contracts and more appointments of people from the private and voluntary sectors.

The report, Reinforcing Standards, makes forty-one recommendations aimed at maintaining the momentum of reform across a wide range of public bodies and institutions.

A full and summary report is available at: www.public-standards.gov.uk