Press release: ACOBA letter reveals system that’s not fit for purpose

27 June, 2023 | 1 minute read

Today’s publication of Lord Pickles’ letter regarding Boris Johnson’s role as a columnist for the Daily Mail shows that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) system is broken. As Lord Pickles makes clear, Johnson’s breach of the ‘revolving door’ rules shows how toothless his body is, and how the ‘good chaps’ approach to regulating standards in public life is not fit for purpose.

In Spotlight on Corruption’s ‘Integrity Deferred?’ report released in March, we highlighted the failure to enact much-needed reforms to protect against abuse of the revolving door between the public and private sectors. Our report shows that just one of the 10 recommendations on the revolving door from the Committee on Standards in Public Life and Sir Nigel Boardman’s report into the Greensill affair has been implemented – and that only partially.

Dr Susan Hawley, Executive Director of Spotlight on Corruption, said: 

“The failure to implement a major upgrade of how ethics are regulated in government is leaving our politics and our governance open to major conflicts of interest, undue influence and destroying trust in democracy.

“It’s vital that the government respond to Lord Pickles’ urgent call for action and brings forward proposals that can begin to restore the public’s faith in their elected officials.”

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