This submission first examines two key areas of government activity that are particularly vulnerable to
fraud and corruption: government-backed loan schemes and public procurement. It highlights lessons
the government should learn from pandemic loan schemes, which were severely affected by fraud, and
examines shortcomings in the UK’s public procurement regime, both in how it debars and excludes
rogue companies from public contracts, as well as how conflicts of interest are prevented and managed.
The submission then looks at two key issues in the overall framework for tackling fraud and corruption
against the public purse: the legislative framework and the resourcing of law enforcement to tackle
fraud and corruption, so that those who defraud the public purse can be brought to justice, and
A series of political scandals in recent years have exposed significant weaknesses in the UK’s system for the regulation of lobbying. The UK’s standards landscape must be brought up to date to ensure that integrity and ethics in government are regulated in a way that befits a modern democracy; strengthening the Lobbying Act is a central plank of that process. Enhancing the UK’s system for lobbying would ensure greater transparency and more equal access to government, with positive consequences for public decision-making and the use of public resources.
The proposed regime should not be introduced until BEIS has completed the proposed reforms to Companies House giving the register powers to query, verify and remove inaccurate company data.