< Back

15th March 2023, 17:58

Codes of Conduct for Parliamentarians & Government Ministers laid in Parliament

Published by GBC News

Codes of Conduct for Parliamentarians and Government Ministers have been laid in Parliament.

The new bespoke code has been amended and is in line with the latest UK version although it's open to further changes.

The draft was first published in 2015.

The Chief Minister delivered a statement in Parliament this afternoon saying it's always been committed to the policy of a Ministerial Code of Conduct.

The intention, he said, had been to have them reviewed by the Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform, but this has not happened with the Government putting this down to expediency.

Brexit and Covid delayed implementation with Fabian Picardo saying there's been no feedback in the eight years the draft codes have been on the Parliament's website.

They allow for the appointment of an Independent Expert Panel with the relevant experience to investigate matters on perceived breaches.

Although they have been updated, they are open to change and further updates.

The GSD Opposition welcomed the laying of the codes and the fact that they can be reviewed saying they may want it to go further. Keith Azopardi questioned the mechanism of the introduction saying constitutionally it may need to be adopted through a resolution or motion to bind members to it. this was seconded by the GSD's Roy Clinton who asked the Speaker to look into this.

The Chief Minister said the advice and recommendations had been for a Parliamentary code to be presented by resolution. Mr Picardo gave notice that it will do this .

Keith Azopardi questioned the timing, pointing out a Ministerial Code of Conduct was a Party Manifesto and had also been carried along in three successive GSLP/Liberal Manifestos.

Fabian Picardo however said, the Government had adhered to the code since 2015 and therefore denied it could be a box ticking scramble as the only thing outstanding had been subjecting the Opposition to it.

Opposition Member Marlene Hassan Nahon questioned the legitimacy of the Government's goodwill and wish meaningful discussion having had no previous notice of the laying of the codes. The Chief Minister pointed out Ms Hassan Nahon had been in Parliament since the code was first drafted in 2015, claiming she had therefore had ample time to have looked at the document.