Throw the officers under the bus
In the wake of the events leading to the Darroch resignation, Blair Mcpherson says local government officers, like civil servants, are expected to provide impartial advice rather than tell politicians what they want to hear - and that means giving unvarnished assessments of proposed partners or contractors.
The current standards regime is not fit for purpose
The recommendations within the Committee for Standards in Public Life report on local government standards must be taken seriously by the sector and Whitehall, says Graeme McDonald.
Information sharing tensions found in child harm review
Legal and ethical tensions between maintaining confidentiality and sharing information are continuing, a review of some of the most serious child protection cases in Scotland has found.
Robots and Risk – what could possibly go wrong?
David Forster says that while remarkable 4th Industrial Revolution projects offer opportunities to reshape service provision, managing risk in the age of machines will be the next big challenge for risk managers and heads of governance.
Do no evil
Defining integrity is easy, says Blair Mcpherson. The difficult part is applying it in a complex political environment such as local government.
Call for power to ban councillors
Council standards boards should have the power to ban councillors for up to six months without allowances, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has recommended.
New ethics guidance for under-pressure officers
The organisation representing council finance officers has updated its ethics guidance as the pressure grows on public sector accountants.
Senior officers 'feel less secure'
Senior officers are less empowered to speak out when they need to because they feel less secure, the leader of a review of local government ethical standards has said.
Standards split between officers and councillors
Councillors and officers are divided over the future of the standards regime, with politicians backing the existing approach dismissed as a ‘toothless tiger’ by officials.
Call for ethical standards in outsourced services
The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life has criticised the lack of ‘real progress’ on measures to reinforce ethical standards in outsourced public services.
Raising the standard
Graeme McDonald questions whether more needs to be done to promote standards and good conduct in the local government sector.
Ethical standards in local government to be reviewed
A review into how local government is supporting ethical standards is to be conducted by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Bennett: Old parties have run out of ideas
Only political will is needed to find enough money to pay for ‘vital council services,’ Green leader Natalie Bennett said as she launched her party’s local election campaign today.
Sector urged to ditch fossil fuels
‘Narrow interpretations of fiduciary duty should not be a barrier’ for local government to commit to divestment from fossil fuels, a new report has argued.
Ethical trading disputes could land authorities with hefty costs
Councils facing legal disputes over decisions to cease trading and investment with countries on ethical grounds could face huge costs.
Objections to ‘unethical’ investment plans
Investment of public sector pensions should not turn a ‘blind eye to horrific human rights abuses’ and other unethical practices, a senior London politician has said.
What a hashtag!
While The MJ is a UK-based publication, Diary has been known to take note of international affairs from time to time.
SOLACE Summit: Rogers fed up being treated like child
The president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) has called for a ‘new psychological contract’ between the sector and Whitehall.
Cracking the code
Many believe in the need for an ethical code for officers to follow and, in the wake of SOLACE’s recent unveiling of its own draft ethics code, Dan Peters reports on a poll of 1,000 councillors by The MJ
Ethics: the personal and the public
Barry Quirk says the new code of ethics set out by SOLACE needs to be accepted by all in local government, and that this should be the start of a much wider debate on how to be an effective public sector figure