Press Notice 29 (18 July 2016)

Annual Report 2015-16

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson today published her annual report for 2015-16.  This is her fourth report, covering her third full year in office.

The Report sets out the work of the Commissioner during the year, including inquiries into the conduct of individual Members, the preparation of the four registers of interests, preparatory work for the new Parliament, including the induction of new Members, and the implementation of a revised Code of Conduct and Guide to the rules relating to the conduct of Members. 

During the year, 91 formal complaints were received, of which 12 were accepted for inquiry. 10 inquiries were resolved. Some of these inquiries have highlighted issues concerning the limits of the Commissioner’s remit which I may consider further in the coming year. The Commissioner continued to ensure that confidential advice was available to Members and their staff, including briefings about the registration requirements. Towards the end of the year the Commissioner began a review of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the rules which will continue during the course of 2016-17.

Notes for Editors

1. The current framework for Parliamentary Standards dates from 1995, when the first Commissioner was appointed. Kathryn Hudson is the fifth Commissioner. She was appointed for five years with effect from 1 January 2013.  The appointment is not renewable.

2. The Commissioner’s main duties are:

  •  to maintain the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and the other registers of interests for Members’ staff, journalists and All-Party Groups;
  •  to provide advice confidentially on matters relating to the registration and declaration of interests;
  •  to advise the Committee on Standards  on the interpretation of the Code of Conduct;
  •  to monitor the operation of the Code of Conduct and registers and to make recommendations to the Committee thereon;
  •  to investigate, if she thinks fit, specific matters which have come to her attention relating to the conduct of Members and to report on them to the Committee on Standards.

The Commissioner’s remit does not extend to the House of Lords. Information about the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-interests/the-commissioner-for-standards/  

Complaints about the misuse of the scheme for parliamentary expenses since May 2010 are a matter for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Information about their Compliance Officer is available at http://www.parliamentarycompliance.org.uk/  

3. The Commissioner’s Annual Report can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/publications/annual-reports/

Memoranda on individual cases investigated by the Commissioner during the year were published as appendices to Reports of the Committee on Standards http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/standards/publications/  

Details of cases concluded via the rectification process since 2008 can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/allegations-the-commissioner-has-rectified/

Details of cases not upheld without a memorandum to the Committee since 2008 can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/allegations-the-commissioner-has-not-upheld/

Information about the Commissioner’s current caseload can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/allegations-under-investigation-by-the-commissioner/

Statistics on complaints can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/complaints-statistics/

Description of the process for investigating complaints can be found at      

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/

The latest edition of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/registers-of-interests/register-of-members-financial-interests/

4. The Commissioner's office is available for media enquiries on 020 7219 8431