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INDEPENDENCE AFFORDED TO ETHICAL STANDARDS OFFICERS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

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Consideration of issues arising from Islington investigation...
Consideration of issues arising from Islington investigation

Commenting on the Standards Board's recent investigation into allegations regarding the appointment of the Islington LBC chief executive, board chair Anthony Holland said:

'The independent Adjudication Panel for England's tribunal had no doubt that the investigation was entirely warranted. However the board is deeply concerned by the serious reservations they expressed about the investigation process.

'We are examining those reservations very carefully and will determine what lessons need to be learnt and what actions need to be taken. That includes considering the legal framework within which investigations are conducted and the independence afforded to ethical standards officers.

'The board has already put in place a number of changes since the Islington investigation, including making evidence and documentation available to witnesses and those accused of breaking the code in advance of interviews.

'While this case was complex we regret that it was not completed quicker. 90% of cases are now investigated within six months, costing an average of£7,000. Over the past three years 283 cases have been presented to the tribunal, and they have found the code was broken in 92% of cases.

'We will make a full statement once we have completed our consideration of the case. We expect to do this early in March.'

LGC story CHIEFS RALLY BEHIND BAILEY

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