David Hine
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Building the United Kingdom’s integrity machinery
The role of the Committee on Standards in Public Life
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This chapter provides background to the emerging debate about integrity issues in British politics, and provides an overview of the regulatory machinery established to deal with it. The chapter deals in detail with the role and impact of the Committee since the 1990s, and its distinctive approach: in particular its avoidance of areas involving the hard-law of corruption, its focus on sub-standard but not illegal behaviour, and its strong commitment to a combination of codes, self-policing, and external accountability of essentially internal regulators. The chapter distinguishes between the early period of the Committee’s existence and the later more controversial period. It argues that after 2000 the Committee’s role changed from setting out principles, codes, and recommendations for new regulatory machinery, to that of review and meta-supervision of the agencies it had helped create.

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