Parliament is set to appoint a new Independent Commissioner into Parliamentary Standards in a bid to improve MP behaviour and accountability.
The newly created commissioner job was recommended by the damning 2019 Francis Review into Parliament’s culture and MP behaviour. The recommendation was adopted by the Parliamentary Service Commission, a cross-party committee that considers the services provided to MPs and parliament.
The new person will be able to “receive, investigate, and resolve complaints about conduct of Members’ of Parliament which do not align with the Behavioural Statements for the Parliamentary Workplace.”
The commissioner will also produce an annual report which will keep a count of complaints and any “systemic issues” in the system.
“The nature of Parliament means there are power imbalances here, and we must keep them in check. Establishing this role guarantees another channel through which staff can confidentially raise concerns about members’ conduct.”
The appointment will be made for five years by the speaker on the recommendation of the commission and the party leaders
This seems like a good step forward. The person appointed will be critical to its success.