This project looks at how ethical standards in government are established and enforced. Rules that govern how ministers, civil servants and special advisers can operate are set out in codes of conduct and constitutional guides like the cabinet manual, and are reinforced by the rule of law. But some of those rules rely on informal conventions and expectations of behaviour. They are also reliant on different enforcement mechanisms, from statutory bodies like the Civil Service Commission to less formal roles like the prime minister’s independent adviser on ministerial interests.
In recent years, the standards that those in government are expected to adhere to have come under increased scrutiny. Our work examines what the rules are and how well they are working, and makes recommendations for how standards can be strengthened and better upheld.