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Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee launches Greensill inquiry

19 April 2021

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has published the terms of reference for its inquiry, announced last week, into matters of public interest around the Greensill controversy.

The Chair of PACAC, William Wragg MP, said:

“Standards in public life are vitally important, and I think most politicians and civil servants fulfil their roles honourably. Maintaining and defending that honourable position matters – that’s precisely why this affair has to be scrutinised. We will look in to whether the rules need tightening up and clarifying and we will make any necessary recommendations without fear or favour.”    

Terms of Reference 

The collapse of Greensill Capital and the subsequent revelations about its relationship with government and Whitehall have raised significant concerns about the propriety of governance in this country, and the efficacy of the Nolan Principles. This risks undermining public trust in Government.  In light of this, PACAC is launching an inquiry into the effectiveness of rules to prevent conflicts of interest and regulation of access by current and former politicians and officials. 

The Committee welcomes written submissions addressing some or all of the following questions:  

  • In the light of the above, do the Codes governing the conduct of Ministers, Special Advisers and Officials properly reflect the behaviours we want them to display in this area? How well understood are they by those to whom they apply and how well are they complied with by them? 
  • How are potential conflicts of interest of current and former Ministers, Special Advisors and Officials identified and managed and how effective is this?  Are there gaps in the current system? 
  • Is the scope of the Business Appointment Rules broad enough? Do the Rules apply to all those to whom they should? Is ACOBA’s application of the Business Appointment Rules sufficiently effective and robust? 
  • How should lobbying activity be regulated? How far does the Lobbying Act provide an effective statutory basis for the regulation of lobbying? Are the scope and remit of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists adequate? Are key aspects of lobbying omitted and, if so, how can they be addressed? 
  • What are the propriety issues relating to the use of consultants and contractors in government? How are these managed and how effective is this management? 
  • Are sanctions for those who breach the current rules sufficient?

The closing date for written submissions is Monday 10 May 2021.

Further information

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