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Press Notice 23 (29 July 2010)

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Annual Report April 2009-March 2010

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon, today publishes his annual report for 2009-10.

The Report covers the work of the Commissioner during the year, including providing information and advice, overseeing the Registers of Interests, advising the Committee on Standards and Privileges and dealing with complaints.

In a particularly heavy year for complaints the Commissioner inquired into 80 complaints, including 8 brought forward from the previous year. He completed work on 51 of them, upholding 34 in whole or in part. On average, therefore, the Commissioner completed almost one inquiry every week.

In his Foreword Mr Lyon says

"It is common ground that 2009–10, the final year of the last Parliament, was the worst for the standing and reputation of the House of Commons in recent memory. The expenses crisis brought Parliament low. That crisis has properly dominated my work, both on the consideration of complaints and on the consideration of the structure and role of my office.

I look forward to this office playing a full part in developing the standards system in the new Parliament. My aim ... is to do everything I can to ensure that the Members of the new Parliament are aware of their responsibilities and live up to the public's–and their own–expectations of the conduct required of them."

Notes for Editors

  1. This Report covers the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.
  2. The current framework for Parliamentary standards dates from 1995, when the first Commissioner was appointed.
  3. Mr Lyon is the fourth Commissioner. He was appointed with effect from 1 January 2008.
  4. In the Publications section of the Commissioner's website you will find links to his Annual Report, reports on individual cases investigated by the Commissioner, descriptions of the process for investigating complaints, and the Register of Members' Financial Interests. 
  5. The Commissioner's office is available for media enquiries on 020 7219 3956.

The Commissioner's main duties are:

  • overseeing the maintenance of the Register of Members' Interests and the other registers of interests for Members' staff, journalists and All-Party Groups;
  • with the Registrar of Members' Interests, advising on the registration and declaration of interests;
  • advising the Committee on Standards and Privileges on the interpretation of the Code of Conduct;
  • monitoring the operation of the Code and registers and making recommendations to the Committee thereon;
  • receiving, investigating and reporting to the Committee on complaints against Members;
  • the Commissioner's remit does not extend to the House of Lords.