Press release: Govt implements just 4 out of 57 ethics recommendations, says Spotlight on Corruption

6 April, 2023 | 2 minute read

Spotlight on Corruption today launches its latest report – an audit of how the government has so far failed to implement crucial recommendations on upgrading ethics in government made by two major independent reports over 18 months ago. 

These two reports – Sir Nigel Boardman’s report into the Greensill scandal, and the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Standards Matter 2 report – found considerable consensus that the current rules and regulations need a major overhaul, from stronger rules on the revolving door, to better transparency in lobbying.

Spotlight’s “Integrity Deferred?” report finds that just 4 out of 57 recommendations (7%) have been implemented so far. 40 have seen no action whatsoever, 12 have only been partially implemented and the status of 1 is unknown.  

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

“We hope that this audit acts as a wake-up call to the government to urgently come forward with a timetable on an ambitious reform agenda following endless scandals which are damaging trust in politics and undermining the health of our democracy.”

She added:

“The government has recently said it will work with allies to combat kleptocracy around the world. But other countries may not take kindly to being lectured on corruption by jurisdictions that fail to tackle their own domestic problems. Getting our own house in order by implementing these recommendations will go a long way to restoring the UK’s reputation around the world.”

As well as analysing every relevant recommendation from the two reports, Integrity Deferred? makes three recommendations of its own. Spotlight says the government should:

  1. Set a timeline for implementation of the Boardman and CSPL recommendations
    The government should respond to the two reviews as soon as possible, with a realistic timetable for the implementation of the reviews’ recommendations. If the government does not accept a recommendation it should set out its reasoning, and any mitigating measures.
  1. Engage with civil society experts on reforms
    The government needs to urgently set up a working group of civil society organisations and government officials to work on reforming public standards and accountability through the Open Government Partnership. This standards working group should also monitor implementation of any reforms.
  1. Ensure that measures to strengthen public integrity form a key pillar of the government’s forthcoming anti-corruption strategy
    The upcoming anti-corruption strategy should lay out an ambitious agenda to upgrade the UK’s ethics framework and the regulation and enforcement of corruption in public office.

Notes to editors

  • Spotlight on Corruption is a charity that shines a light on the UK’s role in corruption at home and abroad by scrutinising the UK’s anti-corruption laws and international anti-corruption commitments, while monitoring their implementation and enforcement. 
Integrity deferred report cover

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