Arm of Assembly Standards’ Commissioner to be strengthened after AMs back new law.
14 October 2009
Assembly Members have this afternoon(Oct 14) backed a new Assembly law that will strengthen the role of the Assembly’s Commissioner for Standards.
The National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards Measure was introduced by Jeff Cuthbert AM, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Standards of Conduct.
“The Committee on Standards of Conduct felt it was important that the Commissioner for Standards has strong legal powers to investigate any complaint of wrong doing, and to encourage high standards in public life for Assembly Members,” said Mr Cuthbert.
“The powers enshrined in this Measure are all of great significance to the ability of the people of Wales to have confidence in their elected representatives. As a committee we are pleased that Assembly Members have backed these proposals which will mean the Commissioner for Standards will be fully independent and have the confidence of the public.”
The Assembly Measure will ensure that the Commissioner for Standards:
is able to promote high standards of public life amongst Assembly Members,
has the powers to enable him or her to investigate complaints rigorously, and
is totally independent of the Assembly and therefore able to act with complete objectivity.
“Transparency and openness has to be at the top of the agenda in a climate where the public are asking serious questions about the public purse,” said Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM.
“A key element of that is to ensure that the public believe that there is an independent office, with the strongest powers possible, to ensure that all members are acting in good faith.”