Ethical standards in public life - model code of conduct for board members: consultation analysis

An analysis of responses to the consultation on current proposals for a revised Model Code of Conduct for members of devolved public bodies.

Clarity and ease of understanding of the Model Code

Question 11: Overall, how clear and easy to understand do you find the revised Model Code? Please tell us where you think the clarity of the Model Code could be improved, and how?

Thirty-nine respondents out of 45 (87%) provided comments and/or a rating on how clear and easy to understand the revised Model Code is, while six respondents (13%) did not. As shown in Figure 1 below, out of the 37 respondents who provided a clear rating, almost half (17, or 46%) rated the revised Model Code as ‘mostly clear’.

Figure 1: Overall, how clear and easy to understand do you find the revised Model Code? (n=37)
The graph summarises how clear the respondents found the proposed Code. It shows that 34 respondents (or 77% of those who answered this question) thought the Code was mostly or very clear

Comments from respondents who felt that the revised Model Code is very, mostly or generally clear included:

“Overall clear and welcome making the Model Code more accessible and easier to understand.”

“Overall it is felt the revised approach does make it clearer to the member their responsibilities and easier to digest/make reference to. The removal of unnecessary text is also helpful as it focuses on the important points.”

“The revised Code is clearer, shorter, more concise and easier to read and comprehend.”

Some respondents commented on ways in which the Model Code could be made clearer. Considering the revised Model Code as a whole, a couple of respondents felt that the content and language used in the Model Code is not inclusive or accessible – one respondent suggested that an Easy Read version of the Model Code should be provided to help people with learning disabilities.

A few commented on the need for more clarity in Section 3 – for example, in Paragraphs 3.9 (on respecting and complying with rulings from the Chair) and 3.10 (on the principle of collective decision-making). Others highlighted that there was room for greater clarification in Section 4 and Annex B.



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