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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 6th July, 2015

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Codes of Conduct: Revised Guidance from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the Standards Committee of the issue of a Revised Code of Conduct by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 2000 in respect of the Model Code of Conduct in respect of

  • Members of County and County Borough Councils, Fire and Rescue Authorities and National Park Authorities
  • Members of Community Councils.

Recommendation

That the Standards Committee note the contents of the revised Codes of Conduct.

Reason for the Recommendation

Having regard to the contents of the revised Code of Conduct as issued by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Background

2.         As you may already be aware, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (The Ombudsman) has revised the two stage test that he uses when deciding whether to investigate a complaint that the Code has been breached or to continue with an investigation to the stage of referring the matter to a Standards Committee or the Adjudication Panel for Wales, to include consideration of any public interest factors that may apply to a case.  This is to ensure that he continues to investigate serious complaints to maintain public confidence in standards of public life. 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         Further information about the revised test and the public interest factors that The Ombudsman may apply is included in Section 1 of the revised Guidance (attached as an Appendix).  Other changes include further guidance on the use of social media and political expression and two flowcharts which have been designed to provide Members with assistance and clarity of the issues of interest.

4.         Copies of the revised guidance have been circulated to all Vale of Glamorgan Councillors and the Clerks to the Town and Community Councils within the Vale of Glamorgan.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.         None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

6.         None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

7.         None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

8.         None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

9.         None.

Policy Framework and Budget

10.      This report does not affect the Council's Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

11.      This report does not involve any consultation with other parties, although The Ombudsman conducted a consultation process which has led to the production of the revised Guidance.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

12.      None.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Mr. C. Hope, Scrutiny and Committee Services, tel: (01446) 709855

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles,

Monitoring Officer

 

 

 

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