The Council of Europe’s group of states against corruption (GRECO) has published today its fourth round evaluation report on the United Kingdom. This report focuses on the prevention of corruption of Members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors. Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The report acknowledges the important steps to strengthen financial control across the Government following the expenses controversy but nevertheless, encourages the further reinforcement of transparency and accountability of Members of Parliament. In particular, GRECO notes the plans under way to regulate lobbying and to further develop the internal mechanisms for preventing and sanctioning misconduct. The report praises the reform introduced in recent years to safeguard the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary and prosecution services. The report stresses, however, the need to ensure that judicial office holders are guaranteed permanent appointment and thereby recommends reducing the numbers of fee-paid judges in England and Wales.
The report contains eight recommendations, which are not legally binding, on which the United Kingdom is expected to report back to GRECO by 30 April 2014. A compliance report on the UK’s progress will follow.