The United Kingdom has a wide range of standards and procedures to help tackle corruption in central government and law enforcement agencies, according to the Council of Europe’s 49-member Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), but a number of shortcomings remain.
In a report published today, GRECO notably encourages the UK authorities to be more proactive in tackling corruption in central government, rather than reacting to problems as they arise.
In particular, the report says that two advisory bodies on the conduct of ministers and senior officials could benefit from being considerably more autonomous from government, with the power to investigate and sanction breaches of codes of conduct on their own initiative.
GRECO notes that lobbying is generally well regulated by European standards. However, the list of ministerial meetings with lobbyists should state precisely what the meetings are about and the UK authorities should consider expanding the register of consultant lobbyists to include in-house corporate lobbyists.