John Bowers
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The Committee on Standards in Public Life and National Audit Office
Two success stories
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There is a cluster of independent offices on the ground floor of 1 Horse Guards Road. The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) resides there, along with the Civil Service Commission, the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. The CSPL is generally a story of success, and it is enjoying a particularly strong period at present. Arguably the Committee’s most valuable role in the last decade is that of a long-term public institutional memory for handling standards issues across all areas of public life. The National Audit Office (NAO) is an independent Parliamentary body that is responsible for auditing central government departments, government agencies and non-departmental public bodies. In 2020, the NAO’s work led to a positive financial impact through reduced costs, improved service delivery or other benefits to citizens, to the tune of £926 million.

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Downward spiral

Collapsing public standards and how to restore them

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