Publication - Research and analysis

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

Published: 10 Jun 2021
Directorate:
Local Government and Communities Directorate
Part of:
Public sector
ISBN:
9781802010237

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

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

Use of the Model Code

Question 1: Have you used the Model Code before?

All 45 respondents provided an answer to Question 1. Of these, the vast majority (38 respondents, or 84%) of respondents indicated that they have used the Model Code before, while a small proportion (7, or 16%) reported that they have not.

Respondents from organisations were more likely to report using the Model Code than individuals. Of the 29 responses from organisations, 28 (97%) indicated that they have used the Model Code before, while the corresponding figure among 16 individuals was 10 (63%).

Question 2: If Yes, in what capacity have you/do you use the Model Code? If you used the Model Code as a Board Member could you please name the public body? Please provide your comment.

Of all 45 respondents, 38 (84%) provided information about the capacity in which they use – or have used – the Model Code. The remaining seven respondents (16%) did not provide any comments.[4] Of the 38 respondents who provided the relevant information, a majority indicated that they have used the Model Code as a member – or, in some cases, as Chair – of a public body board, or alluded to the Model Code being used by their board. These respondents referred to the use of the Model Code by boards of public bodies in a range of sectors – for example, health, housing, transport and justice.

Some respondents framed their use of the Model Code within the context of their organisation’s own codes of conduct and/or good governance, highlighting that the Model Code has been useful in helping their organisation to shape these internal codes. For example, as one respondent said:

“As a non-departmental public body, [we use] the Model Code when developing codes of conduct for both Board members and employees. [Our] policies are developed in line with the Model Code.”

Others mentioned that they use – or have used – the Model Code in their role as a standards officer. In addition, a few respondents described the other roles in which they have used the Model Code – for example, as a monitoring officer, as a legal adviser to a public body board, or when investigating complaints about public body board members.


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