The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards deals with the application of the Code of Conduct and related Rules that apply to Members of Parliament.
This includes the registration of financial interests held by MPs and the investigation of allegations that MPs have breached the rules set out in the House of Commons Code of Conduct.
- Overseeing the operation of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and the other Registers
- Providing confidential advice to individual MPs
- Advising the Committee on Standards about the interpretation of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members
- Monitoring the operation of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules and, where appropriate, proposing changes to the Code to the Committee on Standards
- Providing guidance and training for MPs on matters of conduct, propriety and ethics
- Investigating allegations that MPs are in breach of the Code of Conduct and its associated rules
- Where appropriate, reporting her findings to the Committee on Standards, for the Committee to adjudicate and recommend any appropriate sanction
- Presenting an annual report to the House of Commons on the work of her office
The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards was set up by the House of Commons in 1995 following recommendations made by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is appointed by a Resolution of the House of Commons for a fixed term of 5 years and is an independent officer of the House. The Commissioner is Kathryn Stone OBE, whose tenure started on 1 January 2018.
The Committee on Standards oversees the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. It also adjudicates when she submits reports to them concerning complaints about MPs.
What can the Commissioner investigate?
The Commissioner can investigate allegations that a named Member has breached the rules of conduct set out in paragraph 10-17 of the Code of Conduct.
The Commissioner cannot decide whether a Member has broken the law nor can she decide whether a Member has breached the rules of another organisation, such as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).
The new paragraph 17 says: A Member must treat their staff and all those visiting or working for or with Parliament with dignity, courtesy and respect.
Page last reviewed: 31 July 2018