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September 3, 2012

Welcome to our blog on ethics in public life. This is a new departure for the Committee and we hope it will stimulate discussion and allow us to test out what we have been hearing as part of our review on a wider audience.

 The blog will run for six weeks and the team will be posting new contributions, updates and responses at least twice a week. All comments and contributions will be seen by the Committee as long as they meet the terms of the blog (all contributions will be moderated before they are posted).

 Compared to party donations or MPs’ expenses, reviewing ‘best practice in ethics’ might sound a bit dry. But listening to media coverage of the unfolding Libor scandal, the same words I’ve been hearing at our seminar sessions keep coming up… culture, leadership, personal integrity. The public sector has had similar moments of shame. Ethical regulation has grown up around them – some say it’s grown too much. But what drives good ethical standards?

Banks had codes of conduct, as did MPs. Were those bankers involved in Libor fixing just bad apples or was there something about the barrel which affected their behaviour? There were many MPs who behaved impeccably over their expenses – was that because they had higher personal standards, were they more aware of the code or were they just more afraid of the risks? The damage done to banks can be counted in their share price; poor ethics are bad for business.

In public life, which is where our primary interest lies, public confidence is one barometer. Scandals usually lead to calls for more regulation – a new code or a new independent regulator. But what actually works – what makes individuals and organisations do the right thing? And how do you keep it up?

 Chris Kelly, Chair

Please keep comments to less than 500 words

One Response to “Welcome”

  1. paul mortlock says:

    it is all very well having the nolan principals .only if they are adopted by all in public office we in our area new milton hampshire have a very corrupt council but no one to turn to no ombudsman for a town council please see this area is control by the freemason mafia.

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