News 19th September 2016

Regulating the ‘revolving door’: OGN responds to Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry

by Sophie Blake

The UK Open Government Network has responded to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry on the role and effectiveness of ACoBA and Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.

In summary:

We are concerned that the current system for regulating propriety in public life is insufficient to protect against the risks associated with the “revolving door”:

  1. We consider that the effectiveness of the ACoBA in managing conflicts of interests and preventing impropriety of former public officials would be improved by replacing the Committee with a more robust statutory body, with powers to investigate apparent breaches of the Code and enforce compliance with its decisions.
  2.  We are concerned that the ACoBA is limited in the number of applications that it currently reviews and its reach should be extended to cover all appointments of former public officials where potentially significant conflict of interests arise.
  3.  We consider that public trust in the independence of the regulatory system would be best served by additional measures being taken to guarantee the independence of the Committee, Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests or other regulatory bodies from government and conflicting interests.
  4. We consider that measures should be taken to improve the transparency and openness of the regulatory system in order to enable public oversight and scrutiny of its work.

Read the full response here