As we become aware of the way that a lack of personal integrity seems to have afflicted Westminster en-masse and elsewhere and contemplate what is the real motivation for those who seek and enter public office at National, County or Local level, it might be an idea to be reminded of the 7 principles of Conduct in Public Life as outlined by The Nolan Committee in 1995:
The Nolan Committee (1995) identified and defined seven general principles of conduct
which should underpin public life, and recommended that all public service bodies draw up codes of conduct incorporating these principles. These principles of public life are:
SELFLESSNESS: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the
public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material
benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
INTEGRITY: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or
other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in
the performance of their official duties.
OBJECTIVITY: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments,
awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of
public office should make choices on merit.
ACCOUNTABILIY: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and
actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate
to their office.
OPENNESS: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the
decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions
and actions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly
HONESTY: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating
to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that
protects the public interest.
LEADERSHIP: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles byleadership and example.
It came as a surprise to realise that if you are a Councillor at TDC with a members allowance, a Chair's allowance and a Cabinet position, your part-time efforts could rope in £12,000 + a year. Remuneration could thus exceed a 40hr week on minimum wage which is the lot of many in Thanet. Time for me to review how to supplement my pension in 2011?