|On July 1,
2002, The British
Embassy to Bulgaria and the Center for the Study of Democracy,
acting as a Secretariat of Coalition 2000,
jointly organized a discussion called Ethical Standards in Public
Life - The British Parliament's Experience. Mr. Kevin Barron gave
a short talk on the efforts of the British
Parliament to maintain high standards in public life, and the
effects they have produced. |
Mr. Barron made a historic review of the resolutions, adopted
by the British Parliament with respect to bribes and rewards to
Members of Parliament. He noted that concern about standards issues
in the House of Commons has focused on issues related to paid
advocacy and registration and declaration of interests.
Mr. Barron cited some terms of reference of the
Committee on Standards in Public Life, established in October 1994,
and the amendments they had gone through. Some of the main changes
proposed in the First Report of the Committee were a ban on paid
multi-client consultancies and a Code of Conduct underpinned by the
creation of the post of Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards,
who would maintain the register and investigate allegations of
misconduct. The role and powers of the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards were enlisted and explained.
The other issue raised by Mr. Barron was the
registration and declaration of Members' interests. He outlined the
specific registrable areas, the public duties of MPs and the
general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on
Standards in Public Life.
In conclusion, Mr. Barron made a review of the
current compliance process as a result of the recommendations made
in the first report of the Standards Committee, modified by the
There was an opportunity for questions and
discussion after the talk. MPs, journalists and representatives of
nongovernmental organizations took part in the discussion that
For more information, see the full text of Mr. Barron's lecture.
Mr. Barron was first elected as the Labour Member
of Parliament for the Rother Valley Constituency in 1983. In
1992-1993 he was member of the House of Commons Select Committee on
the Environment. He has been member of the Intelligence and
Security Committee of the British Parliament since 1997.