EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

United Kingdom

Country score (European Average*)
  • 76(67) Political Financing
  • 38(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 22(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 66(56) Freedom of Information
  • 66(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)40,550
Population, total65,138,232
Urban population (% of total)82.6
Internet users (per 100 people)91.6
Life expectancy at birth (years)80.8
Mean years of schooling (years)13.1
Global Competitiveness Index5.4
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) (amended 2015), the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Communications Act 2003 are the main laws regulating the financing of political parties in the UK. 

There are some restrictions on the private income of political parties. Donations from foreign entities are banned as are anonymous donations. However, there are no bans on donations from corporations or trade unions. There are no limits on donations received during or outside of election periods. 

Small amounts of public funding are available for political parties and are allocated based on the share of votes in the previous election and the representation in the elected body. Public funding can be used only for very specific purposes and this does not include campaign spending or ongoing party activities. There is subsidizes media access for parties and candidates as well as indirect public funding in the form of premises for campaign meetings and postage costs. 

For regulations on spending, vote buying is banned as is the use of state resources for or against a political party of candidate. There are limits on spending for both parties and candidates. 

Parties are required to keep annual accounts which must be made public. These must also report on their finances in relation to election campaigns. The identity of donors is revealed when a certain donation threshold is reached. Reports are overseen by the Electoral Commission and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. There are sanctions in the form of fines, forfeiture and under the criminal law. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income424242
Public funding626262
Regulations on spending100100100
Reporting, oversight and sanctions92100100

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. Such donations are not in the permissible list below. (2) For the purposes of this Part the following are permissible donors— (a) an individual registered in an electoral register; (b) a company— (i) [ registered under the Companies Act 2006 ] and (ii) incorporated within the United Kingdom or another member State, which carries on business in the United Kingdom; (c) a registered party [ , other than a Gibraltar party whose entry in the register includes a statement that it intends to contest one or more elections to the European Parliament inthe combined region ] (d) a trade union entered in the list kept under the Trade Union and Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 1992 or the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992; (e) a building society (within the meaning of the Building Societies Act 1986); (f) a limited liability partnership registered under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000, amended 2015[…] 3 which carries on business in the United Kingdom; (g) a friendly society registered under the Friendly Societies Act 1974 [ , a registered society within the meaning of the Co-operative and Community Benefi t Societies Act 2014 or a society registered (or deemed to be registered) under] 4 the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969; and (h) any unincorporated association of two or more persons which does not fall within any of the preceding paragraphs but which carries on business or other activities wholly or mainly in the United Kingdom and whose main office is there. (Section 54(2) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. Rules for candidates are the same: Schedule 7 (1). (1) This Schedule has effect for controlling donations to— (a) members of registered parties; (b) members associations; and (c) holders of relevant elective offices. Schedule 7 (7). (1) The following provisions have effect for the purposes of this Schedule. [ (1A) A person falling within section 54(2A)(a) to (g) is a permissible donor if– (a) the controlled donation is received by– (i) a member of a registered party; or (ii) a members association whose membership consists wholly or mainly of membersof a registered party,and the party is a Gibraltar party whose entry in the register includes a statement that itintends to contest one or more elections to th European Parliament in the combined region;or (b) the controlled donation is received by a member of the European Parliament elected inthe combined region. (Schedule 7(1) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015 Schedule 7(7) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. (1) A donation received by a registered party must not be accepted by the party if—(b) the party is (whether because the donation is given anonymously or by reason of any deception or concealment or otherwise) unable to ascertain the identity of that person. (Section 54(1)(b) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? Yes. (1) A donation received by a registered party must not be accepted by the party if—(b) the party is (whether because the donation is given anonymously or by reason of any deception or concealment or otherwise) unable to ascertain the identity of that person.

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. State insitutions are not on the permissible donors list (Section 54(2) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? No. Absent from legal framework

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. Short Money The current scheme is administered under a Resolution of the House of 26 May 1999.Short Money is made available to all opposition parties in the House of Commons that secured either two seats or one seat and more than 150,000 votes at the previous General Election. (Standard Note SN/PC/01663)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. Section 12(1). Policy Development Grant (b) a registered party is “represented” if there are at least two Members of the House of Commons belonging to the party Short Money The current scheme is administered under a Resolution of the House of 26 May 1999.Short Money is made available to all opposition parties in the House of Commons that secured either two seats or one seat and more than 150,000 votes at the previous General Election. (Section 12(1)(b) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015 Standard Note SN/PC/01663)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. Policy Development Grants The grant is distributed based on a formula drawn up by the Electoral Commission and approved by Parliament. The first £1 million is distributed equally amongst the eligible parties. The second £1 million is divided based on the proportion of the registered electorate where the party contest elections (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), and weighted share of the vote received by each party in each part of the UK. Short Money Allocations throughout a Parliament are based on the results of the previous General Election.  General funding for Opposition Parties – the amount payable to qualifying parties from 1 April 2014 is £16,689.13 for every seat won at the last election plus £33.33 for every 200 votes gained by the party.  Travel Expenses for Opposition Parties – the total amount payable under this component of the scheme for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2014 is £183,336.00 apportioned between each of the Opposition parties in the same proportion as the amount given to each of them under the basic funding scheme set out above.  Leader of the Opposition’s Office – under the third component of the scheme, £777,538.48 is available for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2014. (Electoral Commission Website Page 3, Standard Note SN/PC/01663)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received Yes. Policy Development Grants The grant is distributed based on a formula drawn up by the Electoral Commission and approved by Parliament. The first £1 million is distributed equally amongst the eligible parties. The second £1 million is divided based on the proportion of the registered electorate where the party contest elections (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), and weighted share of the vote received by each party in each part of the UK. Short Money Allocations throughout a Parliament are based on the results of the previous General Election.  General funding for Opposition Parties – the amount payable to qualifying parties from 1 April 2014 is £16,689.13 for every seat won at the last election plus £33.33 for every 200 votes gained by the party.  Travel Expenses for Opposition Parties – the total amount payable under this component of the scheme for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2014 is £183,336.00 apportioned between each of the Opposition parties in the same proportion as the amount given to each of them under the basic funding scheme set out above.  Leader of the Opposition’s Office – under the third component of the scheme, £777,538.48 is available for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2014. (Electoral Commission Website Page 3, Standard Note SN/PC/01663)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. Policy Development Grant 12.— Policy development grants. (1) For the purposes of this section— (a) “a policy development grant” is a grant to a represented registered party to assist the party with the development of policies for inclusion in any manifesto on the basis of which— (i) candidates authorised to stand by the party will seek to be elected at an election which is a relevant election for the purposes of Part II, or (ii) the party itself will seek to be so elected (in the case of such an election for which the party itself may be nominated); Short Money Short Money general funds are largely spent on research support for front-bench spokesmen, assistance in the Whips’ offices and staff for the Leader of the Opposition.Paragraph 1 of the original Resolution in 1975 provided that financial assistance to qualifying parties was available “to assist that party in carrying out its Parliamentary business”, and paragraph 6 required parties to certify “that the expenses in respect of which assistance isclaimed have been incurred exclusively in relation to that party’s Parliamentary business” (Section 12(1) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015 Page 3, Standard Note SN/PC/01663)

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates Yes. 333 Party political broadcasts (1) The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel, and the regulatory regime for every national radio service, includes— (a) conditions requiring the inclusion in that channel or service of party political broadcasts and of referendum campaign broadcasts (Section 333 Communications Act 2003, amended 2015)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other Yes. 13. Before a General Election, and in the case of other elections where appropriate, each major party (referred to in Rule 12) should be offered at least two PEBs, the length of a series offered to a particular party being determined by the Licensee. This includes the SNP and Plaid Cymru on Channel 4 and Channel 5. In every case, the number of PEBs should be determined having regard to the circumstances of a particular election, the nation in which it is held, and the individual party's past electoral support and/or current support in that nation (see Rule 16). (OFCOM Explanatory Information)
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings Yes. 95.— Schools and rooms for parliamentary election meetings. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Section, a candidate at a parliamentary election is entitled for the purposes of holding public meetings in furtherance of his candidature to the use [ free of charge ] (Section 95 Representation of the People Act 1983, amended 2015)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost Yes. Candidate's right to send election address post free. (Section 91 Representation of the People Act 1983, amended 2015)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. 113.— Bribery. (1) A person shall be guilty of a corrupt practice if he is guilty of bribery. (2) A person shall be guilty of bribery if he, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf— (a) gives any money or procures any office to or for any voter or to or for any other person on behalf of any voter or to or for any other person in order to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting, or (Section 113 Representation of the People Act 1983,a mended 2015)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? Yes. i. Ministers must not use government resources for Party political purposes; (1.2(i) Ministerial Code 2015)
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? Yes. 151. The limits for parliamentary general elections are set out in paragraph 3 of Schedule 9. The maximum amount a party may spend is determined by the number of constituencies contested. A party receives an allowance of Ł30,000 for each constituency contested, subject to a minimum threshold. The maximum amount of campaign expenditure a party could incur if it contested all the parliamentary constituencies in each part of the United Kingdom is set out in the table below: [firgures are set out in a table] (Explanatory Notes (151) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? Yes. In both the long and short campaigns, the spending limit is calculated by adding together a base amount and a variable top up that takes into account the number of registered electors in the constituency you are contesting. (Electoral Commission Guidance, 2015)

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. (1) The treasurer of a registered party shall prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each financial year of the party . (Section 42(1) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. (1) Subject to section 64, the treasurer of a registered party shall, in the case of any general election period, prepare a report under this section in respect of each of the following periods— (a) the period of seven days beginning with the fi rst day of the general election period; (b) each succeeding period of seven days falling within the general election period; and (c) any fi nal period of less than se ven days falling within that period. (Section 63(1) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. (1) Within 35 days after the day on which the result of the election is declared, the election agent of every candidate at the election shall [ deliver ] to the appropriate offi cer a true return [ containing as respects that candidate: (a) a statement of all election expenses incurred by or on behalf of the candidate; and (b) a statement of all payments made by the election agent together with all bills or receipts relating to the payments. (Section 81 Representation of the People Act, 1983, amended 2015)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. 46. Public inspection of parties' statements of accounts. Where the Commission receive any statement of accounts under section 45, they shall— (a) as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the statement, make a copy of the statement available for public inspection; and (b) keep any such copy available for public inspection for the period for which the statement is kept by them or, if they so determine, during such shorter period as they may specify. (Section 46 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? yes. (2) In the case of an individual the report must give his full name and— (a) if his address is, at the date of receipt of the donation, shown in an electoral register (within the meaning of section 54 ) [ or the Gibraltar register ] 2 that address; and (b) otherwise, his home address (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere). (Schedule 6 2(2) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution Yes. Electoral Commission (1) The treasurer of a registered party shall, if the party's accounts for a fi nancial year are not required to be audited by virtue of section 43(1) or (2) , within [ 4 months ] of the end of that fi nancial year deliver to the Commission (Section 45 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body Yes. The Electoral Commission has the main responsibility to investigate breaches of political finance regulations. The police and the courts are also responsible for investigating breaches of political finance regulations.  (Section 45 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. The Houses of Parliament has a Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which maintains a Register of Members' Financial Interests. There is a Commissioner in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority provides scrutiny and the administration of Parliamentary expenses. The Committee on Standards in Public Life, an independent advisory body to the government, has undertaken a number of reviews of the campaign finance system. (Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards)
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. (1) The Commission shall prepare and publish guidance as to sanctions. This guidance is found on the website: Electoral Commission - We regulate political funding and spending. We have powers to impose sanctions where we find there has been a breach of the rule. Sanctions include: Fines, compliance notices, restoration notices, stop notices, enforcement undertakings, forfeiture of funds (Part 6 Section 25 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015 Electoral Commission website)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal Yes. 47.— Criminal penalty for failure to submit proper statement of accounts. (1) If in the case of a registered party— (a) any requirements of regulations under section 42(2)(a) are [ , without reasonable excuse, ] not complied with in relation to any statement of accounts delivered to the Commission under section 45, or (b) any statement of accounts, notifi cation or auditor's report required to be delivered to the Commission under that section is [ , without reasonable excuse, not delivered to them before the end of the relevant period, the person who was the treasurer of the party immediately before the end of that period is guilty of an offence. (Section 47 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture Yes. 58.— Forfeiture of donations made by impermissible or unidentifi able donors. (Section 58 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Standard Note SN/PC/01663 (English)pdf
Communications Act 2003, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Representation of the People Act 1983, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Ministerial Code 2015 (English)pdf
Electoral Commission Guidance, 2015 (English)pdf

Financial Disclosure

In the United Kingdom, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Civil Servants are required to disclose debts over £1,500, income received from outside employment, shares held in private or public companies, and income from trust funds. Additionally, Ministers and MPs declare real estate. Both MPs and Civil Servants must disclose private interests before participating in decision-making that concern them. Upon leaving office, Ministers are prohibited from lobbying Government for two years. These regulations are set down for Ministers in the Ministerial Code (2007, last amended 2010), for MPs in the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members (1996, last amended 2010), and in the Civil Service Management Code (2010, last amended 2015) for Civil Servants.

While Ministers only make their statements upon appointment, Members of Parliament and Civil Servants make updates whenever changes occur. British law stipulates no sanctions for Ministers failing to meet disclosure requirements. Members of Parliament face fines should they make declarations late or not at all. No specifications apply to making false disclosure. Civil Servants face administrative sanctions for making late statements or failing to submit them, and may be imprisoned for false disclosure statements. The Permanent Secretary collects disclosure statements by Ministers, while the Register of Members’ Financial Interests does so for MPs. The Parliament’s Committee on Standards and Privileges verifies submissions, while no such body exists for Ministers or Civil Servants. Civil Servants make their declarations with the administrative superior. Only MPs’ declarations are accessible to the public.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items514747
Filing frequency252525
Sanctions584242
Monitoring and Oversight754444
Public access to declarations383131

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State700
Ministers513535
Members of Parliament846767
Civil servants575050

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Movable assets No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Cash No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Loans and Debts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Holding government contracts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Post-employment No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Filing required annually No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Timing of information release specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Location(s) of access specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Cost of access specified No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Movable assets Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which may create a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment Yes. On leaving office, Ministers will be prohibited from lobbying Government for two years. They must also seek advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. (Part 7.25 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Where exceptionally it is decided that a Minister can retain an interest, the Minister and the department must put processes in place to prohibit access to certain papers and ensure that the Minister is not involved in certain decisions and discussions relating to that interest. (Part 7.8 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a full list in writing of all interests which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The Ministry’s respective Permanent Secretary. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Where appropriate, the Minister will meet the Permanent Secretary and the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests to agree action on the handling of interests. (Part 7.4 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. A statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly. (Part 7.5 of Ministerial Code, 2015)
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Resolution of 22 May 1974: Every Member of the House of Commons shall furnish to a Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests such particulars of his registrable interests as shall be required (...). 4. Members are required, subject to the paragraphs below, to declare any financial interests which satisfy the test of relevance, including: (...); b) indirect financial interests, such as the financial interests of a spouse or partner, or another family member, if the Member is aware or could reasonably be expected to be aware of that interest. It is not necessary to identify the person concerned: a formula such as “A member of my family has a financial interest in [ ]”will usually suffice. The definition of a family member is as under Category 9 of the Register; (...). Part 10 (a). Members of the House of Lords shall register all relevant interests. (Appendix to the Guide to the Rules (Resolution of 22 May 1974) and Chapter 2, section 4, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015 Part 10 (a) Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2015 )
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Category 5: Land and property. Any land or property a) which has a capital value of more than £250,000 (but excluding any personal residences of Members and their spouses), or b) from which an income of more than £5,000 a year is derived. 70. Only the nature of the property and a general indication of its location should be indicated (e.g. “farm in Norfolk”, “residential holdings in Birmingham”, and so on); the value of the property and the income received need not be registered. No property that is used for personal residential purposes need be registered, unless it falls under part (b). Category 6: Land and property. 47. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, any land or property in the UK or elsewhere which: i) has a value of more than £100,000; or forms part of a total property portfolio whose value exceeds £100,000; and/or; ii) alone or together with other properties owned by the Member, provides rental income of more than £10,000 in a calendar year. 48. Under this category Members must register: a) Land or property which they own or hold, either by themselves or with or on behalf of their spouse, partner or dependent children. (Section 70, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of the Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 47 and 48, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. Category 8: Gifts, benefits and hospitality Any gift to the Member or the Member’s spouse or partner, or any other material benefit, of a value greater than £140, from any company, organisation or person, within the UK or overseas, which relates substantially to membership of the House. 76. Any gift, or other benefit, which relates substantially to membership of the House and which is either given free of charge, or provided at a cost below that generally available to Members of the public, should be registered whenever the value or potential value of the gift or benefit is greater than £140, unless the Member gives the gift to charity within the period required for registration. Benefits include loans, tickets to cultural and sporting events, hospitality, travel and accommodation upgrades. The date of receipt should also be registered. A gift or benefit available to all Members should not be registered. Categories 3: Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources. Section 22. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, any gifts, benefits or hospitality with a value of over £300 which they receive from a UK source. They must also register multiple benefits from the same source if these have a value of more than £300 in a calendar year. 23. Under this category Members must register: Any benefits which relate in any way to their membership of the House or political activities, if provided by a UK source either free or at concessionary rates, including: (...); e) loans or credit arrangements; (Section 76, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 22 and 23, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Category 2: Remunerated employment etc. Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation which is remunerated or in which the Member has any pecuniary interest. 53. All employment outside the House and any sources of remuneration which do not fall clearly within any other category should be registered here. When registering employment, Members should state the employing organisation, the nature of its business (where this is not self-evident), the nature of the post that they hold in the organisation and the precise source of each individual payment made for services personally provided by the Member (except where disclosure of the information would be contrary to any established professional duty of privacy or confidentiality). “Employing organisation” includes partnerships and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Category 1: Employment and earnings 6. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, individual payments of more than £100 which they receive for any employment outside the House. They must also register individual payments of £100 or less once they have received a total of over £300 in payments of whatever size from the same source in a calendar year. (Section 53, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 6, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Category 8: Gifts, benefits and hospitality Any gift to the Member or the Member’s spouse or partner, or any other material benefit, of a value greater than £140, from any company, organisation or person, within the UK or overseas, which relates substantially to membership of the House. 76. Any gift, or other benefit, which relates substantially to membership of the House and which is either given free of charge, or provided at a cost below that generally available to Members of the public, should be registered whenever the value or potential value of the gift or benefit is greater than £140, unless the Member gives the gift to charity within the period required for registration. Benefits include loans, tickets to cultural and sporting events, hospitality, travel and accommodation upgrades. The date of receipt should also be registered. A gift or benefit available to all Members should not be registered. Categories 3: Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources. Section 22. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, any gifts, benefits or hospitality with a value of over £300 which they receive from a UK source. They must also register multiple benefits from the same source if these have a value of more than £300 in a calendar year. 23. Under this category Members must register: Any benefits which relate in any way to their membership of the House or political activities, if provided by a UK source either free or at concessionary rates, including: (...); e) loans or credit arrangements; (Section 76, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 22 and 23, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Category 4: Shareholdings Any shareholding either a) amounting to a controlling interest, or b) not amounting to a controlling interest, but exceeding Ł50,000 in value. 64. Members should include all such shareholdings held, either personally, or with or on behalf of their spouse or dependent children, in any public or private company. Members should not specify the value of the shares, or the percentage of shares in a company that are owned, other than by indicating whether the shareholding falls under category 4(a) or 4(b). 67. Holdings in a collective investment vehicle (including unit trusts, investment trusts and investment companies with variable capital (ICVCs)) are not generally registrable. Members may, however, consider registration in this category in appropriate cases, such as sector-specific vehicles. Members who are beneficiaries of trusts should treat them in the same way. Holdings in blind trusts are exempt from registration. Category 7: Shareholdings 51. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, any holdings which: i) amount to more than 15% of the issued share capital of that company, or more than 15% of a partnership; ii) are valued at more than Ł70,000. 52. Under this category Members must register: a) Shareholdings or share options which they hold, either by themselves or with or on behalf of their spouse, partner or dependent children. This includes any shares which are managed by a trust (other than a blind trust or similar delegated management arrangement) and any holdings in sector-specific vehicles; b) Interests in LLPs or other partnerships. (Section 64 and 67, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 51 and 52, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Category 4: Shareholdings Any shareholding either a) amounting to a controlling interest, or b) not amounting to a controlling interest, but exceeding Ł50,000 in value. 64. Members should include all such shareholdings held, either personally, or with or on behalf of their spouse or dependent children, in any public or private company. Members should not specify the value of the shares, or the percentage of shares in a company that are owned, other than by indicating whether the shareholding falls under category 4(a) or 4(b). 67. Holdings in a collective investment vehicle (including unit trusts, investment trusts and investment companies with variable capital (ICVCs)) are not generally registrable. Members may, however, consider registration in this category in appropriate cases, such as sector-specific vehicles. Members who are beneficiaries of trusts should treat them in the same way. Holdings in blind trusts are exempt from registration. Category 7: Shareholdings 51. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, any holdings which: i) amount to more than 15% of the issued share capital of that company, or more than 15% of a partnership; ii) are valued at more than Ł70,000. 52. Under this category Members must register: a) Shareholdings or share options which they hold, either by themselves or with or on behalf of their spouse, partner or dependent children. This includes any shares which are managed by a trust (other than a blind trust or similar delegated management arrangement) and any holdings in sector-specific vehicles; b) Interests in LLPs or other partnerships. (Section 64 and 67, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 Chapter 1, Section 51 and 52, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Category 1: Employment and earnings 6. Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, individual payments of more than £100 which they receive for any employment outside the House. They must also register individual payments of £100 or less once they have received a total of over £300 in payments of whatever size from the same source in a calendar year. 7. Under this category Members must register: Any of the following received as a director or employee or earned in any other capacity: a) Salaries, fees and payments in kind; gifts received in recognition of services performed; b) Taxable expenses, allowances and benefits such as company cars; c) Redundancy and ex gratia payments; d) Income as a member of Lloyd’s; and e) Payments for opinion surveys (unless they fall below the registration threshold). Category 1: Directorships Remunerated directorships in public and private companies, including non-executive directorships, and including directorships which are not directly remunerated, but where remuneration is paid through another company in the same group. 50. In this category, and in others, “remuneration” includes not only salaries and fees, but also the receipt of any taxable expenses, allowances, or benefits, such as the provision of a company car. Members should register the name of the company in which the directorship is held and give a broad indication of the company’s business, where this is not self-evident from its name. Directly remunerated directorships of companies which are not trading should be registered. Members must register under this category the precise source of each individual payment made in relation to any directorship and the nature of the work carried on in return for that payment, except where disclosure of the information would be contrary to any established professional duty of privacy or confidentiality. (Chapter 1, Section 6 and 7, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, amended 2015 Section 50, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 )
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. "In any debate or proceeding of the House or its Committees or transactions or communications which a Member may have with other Members or with Ministers or servants of the Crown, he shall disclose any relevant pecuniary interest or benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, that he may have had, may have or may be expecting to have." (Registration and Declaration of Members' Financial Interests; Resolution agreed by the House as per 2009 amendment. )
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector Yes. Category 9: Family members employed 57. Under this category Members must register, subject to the paragraphs below, details of any family members whom they employ if those employees receive, from parliamentary expenses, remuneration of more than Ł700 in a calendar year. 58. Under this category Members must register: a) Any family members employed and remunerated through expenses or allowances available to support his or her work as a Member of Parliament. Family members should be regarded as including a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the Member and the parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the Member or of a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the Member. 59. Members are required to provide the following information: a) The name of any family members employed and paid from parliamentary expenses; b) Their relationship to the Member; c) Their job title; d) Whether they work part time. (Chapter 1, Section 57, 58 and 59, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. 2. The House requires new Members, within one month of their election, to register all their current financial interests, and any registrable benefits (other than earnings) received in the 12 months before their election. After that, Members are required to register within 28 days any change in those registrable interests. Such a change includes both the acquisition of a new interest and the ceasing of any registered interest, for example because an employment has ceased or because a holding has reduced in value or been sold. 39. Members of the House of Lords are required to complete a registration form and submit it to the Registrar of Lords’ Interests within one month of taking their seat. Members returning to the House at the start of a Parliament having been on leave of absence at the end of the previous Parliament are required to register interests within one month of taking the oath in the new Parliament. It is the responsibility of Members to keep their entry up-to-date by notifying changes in their registrable interests within one month of each change occurring. Failure to do so breaches the Code of Conduct. (Chapter 1, Section 2, Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 Section 39, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 )
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Every Member of the House of Commons shall furnish to a Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests such particulars of his registrable interests as shall be required, and shall notify to the Registrar any alterations which may occur therein, and the Registrar shall cause these particulars to be entered in a Register of Members’ Interests which shall be available for inspection by the public. (Appendix to the Guide to the Rules (Resolution of 22 May 1974), in Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members of Parliament, 2015 )

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. 16. In the case of non-registration, rectification requires a belated entry in the current Register, with an appropriate explanatory note; in the case of non-declaration, it requires an apology to the House by means of a point of order. In cases involving parliamentary facilities or allowances the rectification procedure normally requires the Member to make appropriate repayment. (Chapeter 4, Section 16, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. 16. In the case of non-registration, rectification requires a belated entry in the current Register, with an appropriate explanatory note; in the case of non-declaration, it requires an apology to the House by means of a point of order. In cases involving parliamentary facilities or allowances the rectification procedure normally requires the Member to make appropriate repayment. (Chapeter 4, Section 16, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015)
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Registration is to be made in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. The duty of compiling the Register rests with the Commissioner and is to be assisted by the Registrar. Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for agreements relating to the provision of services. Members of the House of Lords shall register in the Register of Lords' Interests all relevant interests. (Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 Part 10 (a) Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2015)
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. 2. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: a) considers complaints alleging that a Member of Parliament has breached the Code of Conduct and its associated rules; and; b) if he or she thinks fit, investigates specific matters which have come to his or her attention relating to the conduct of a Member; and, c) exceptionally inquires into a matter referred to the Commissioner by a Member in relation to his or her own conduct. 18. A House of Lords Commissioner for Standards is appointed to investigate alleged breaches of this Code, or of the rules governing Members’ financial support or use of parliamentary facilities. Any such investigation is conducted in accordance with procedures set out in the Guide to the Code of Conduct. 19. After investigation the Commissioner makes a report of his findings. If the Member is found not to have breached the Code, or if the Member and the Commissioner have agreed remedial action, the report goes to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct. If the Member is found to have breached the Code (and remedial action is inappropriate or has not been agreed), the Commissioner’s report goes to the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct; the Sub-Committee reviews the Commissioner’s findings and, where appropriate, recommends a disciplinary sanction to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct. The Member concerned has a right of appeal to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct against both the Commissioner’s findings and any recommended sanction. (Chapter 4, Section, Guide to the Rules relating to the Coduct of Members, 2015 Section 18 and 19, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2015 )
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Committee on Standards and Privileges (Part 1(b) of Standing Order 149 on Committee on Standards and Privileges (1995, last amended 2009))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. 7. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is responsible for preparing the Register, which is published electronically under the authority of the Committee on Standards. A printed version is also produced under the Committee’s authority soon after the beginning of each new Parliament and approximately annually thereafter. Entries remain in the Register for twelve months, or until they have appeared in one printed Register if that is later. 48. The Register is updated daily when the House is sitting, and is published online (...).This up-to-date online edition of the Register is also available in a loose leaf form for inspection by Members at the Table of the House, in the Table Office, and in the Library; and by the public in the Search Room of the Parliamentary Archives. (Introduction, Section 7, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, amended 2015)
Timing of information release specified Yes. 7. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is responsible for preparing the Register, which is published electronically under the authority of the Committee on Standards. A printed version is also produced under the Committee’s authority soon after the beginning of each new Parliament and approximately annually thereafter. Entries remain in the Register for twelve months, or until they have appeared in one printed Register if that is later. 48. The Register is updated daily when the House is sitting, and is published online (...).This up-to-date online edition of the Register is also available in a loose leaf form for inspection by Members at the Table of the House, in the Table Office, and in the Library; and by the public in the Search Room of the Parliamentary Archives. (Introduction, Section 7, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, amended 2015)
Location(s) of access specified Yes. 0
Cost of access specified Yes. 7. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is responsible for preparing the Register, which is published electronically under the authority of the Committee on Standards. A printed version is also produced under the Committee’s authority soon after the beginning of each new Parliament and approximately annually thereafter. Entries remain in the Register for twelve months, or until they have appeared in one printed Register if that is later. 48. The Register is updated daily when the House is sitting, and is published online (...).This up-to-date online edition of the Register is also available in a loose leaf form for inspection by Members at the Table of the House, in the Table Office, and in the Library; and by the public in the Search Room of the Parliamentary Archives. (Introduction, Section 7, Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, amended 2015)

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share a civil servant’s private interests (for example freemasonry, membership of societies, clubs and other organisations, and family) and so must be declared. (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. Part 4.3.10 provides that civil servants who become bankrupt or insolvent must report the fact to their department or agency. Part 4.3.2 states that departments and agencies must ensure that civil servants who are bankrupt or insolvent are not employed on duties which might permit the misappropriation of public funds. (Part 4.3.10,Part 4.3.2 Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Departments and agencies must require staff to seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. (this provision does not expressly mention income received from such employment, but it is implied) (Part 4.3.4 of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Part 4.1.3 (d) states that civil servants must not receive gifts, hospitality or benefits of any kind from a third party which might be seen to compromise their personal judgement or integrity. Part 4.3.5 Further provides that civil servants are to be informed of these and of the circumstances in which they need to seek permission before accepting them. (Part 4.1.3 (d), Part 4.3.5 Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Part 4.3.8 states that civil servants may freely invest in shareholdings and other securities unless the nature of their work is such as to require constraints on this. They must not be involved in taking any decision which could affect the value of their private investments, or the value of those on which they give advice to others; or use information acquired in the course of their work to advance their private financial interests or those of others. Part 4.3.9 further states that civil servants must declare to their department or agency any business interests (including directorships) or holdings of shares or other securities which they or members of their immediate family (spouse, including partner where relevant, and children) hold, to the extent which they are aware of them, which they would be able to further as a result of their official position. They must comply with any subsequent instructions from their department or agency regarding the retention, disposal or management of such interests. (Part 4.3.8 and Part 4.3.9, Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Part 4.3.8 states that civil servants may freely invest in shareholdings and other securities unless the nature of their work is such as to require constraints on this. They must not be involved in taking any decision which could affect the value of their private investments, or the value of those on which they give advice to others; or use information acquired in the course of their work to advance their private financial interests or those of others. Part 4.3.9 further states that civil servants must declare to their department or agency any business interests (including directorships) or holdings of shares or other securities which they or members of their immediate family (spouse, including partner where relevant, and children) hold, to the extent which they are aware of them, which they would be able to further as a result of their official position. They must comply with any subsequent instructions from their department or agency regarding the retention, disposal or management of such interests. (Part 4.3.8 and Part 4.3.9, Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Holding government contracts Yes. Part 4.1.3 (b) states that civil servants must not take part in any political or public activity which compromises, or might be seen to compromise, their impartial service to the Government of the day or any future Government. Part 4.3.1 provides that departments and agencies must not, unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission, let contracts to any civil servant in the department or agency; any partnership of which a civil servant in the department or agency is a member; or any company where a civil servant in the department or agency is a director (except as a nominee of the department or agency). (Part 4.1.3(b) and Part 4.3.1, Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share a civil servant’s private interests (for example freemasonry, membership of societies, clubs and other organisations, and family) and so must be declared. (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Post-employment Yes. Part 6 states that before accepting any new appointment or employment, whether in the UK or overseas, which they intend to take up after they have left the Civil Service, individuals must consider whether an application under the Rules is required. If it is required, they should not accept or announce a new appointment or offer of employment before it has been approved. Part 9 states that because of their role at the highest level of Government, and their access to a wide range of sensitive information, all Permanent Secretaries, including Second Permanent Secretaries, will be subject to a minimum waiting period of three months between leaving paid Civil Service employment and taking up an outside appointment or employment. (Part 4.3 Annex A (Part 6 and 9 of The Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share a civil servant’s private interests (for example freemasonry, membership of societies, clubs and other organisations, and family) and so must be declared. (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share a civil servant’s private interests (for example freemasonry, membership of societies, clubs and other organisations, and family) and so must be declared. (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. 4.5.1 Departments and agencies are responsible for their own dismissal, disciplinary and grievance arrangements. 4.5.2 Disciplinary procedures may be invoked in certain circumstances in addition to, or instead of, criminal investigations or legal proceedings. 4.5.3 It is for departments and agencies to define the circumstances in which initiation of disciplinary procedures may be appropriate. It is not necessary to attempt to define every circumstance. However departments’ and agencies’ rules for staff must make clear the circumstances in which the application of the disciplinary procedures may be considered, and these must include: a. breaches of the organisation’s standards of conduct or other forms of misconduct (see paragraph 4.1.4); and b. any other circumstances in which the behaviour, action or inaction of individuals significantly disrupts or damages the performance or reputation of the organisation; as well as other circumstances covered by the statutory dispute resolution procedures. (Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. 4.5.1 Departments and agencies are responsible for their own dismissal, disciplinary and grievance arrangements. 4.5.2 Disciplinary procedures may be invoked in certain circumstances in addition to, or instead of, criminal investigations or legal proceedings. 4.5.3 It is for departments and agencies to define the circumstances in which initiation of disciplinary procedures may be appropriate. It is not necessary to attempt to define every circumstance. However departments’ and agencies’ rules for staff must make clear the circumstances in which the application of the disciplinary procedures may be considered, and these must include: a. breaches of the organisation’s standards of conduct or other forms of misconduct (see paragraph 4.1.4); and b. any other circumstances in which the behaviour, action or inaction of individuals significantly disrupts or damages the performance or reputation of the organisation; as well as other circumstances covered by the statutory dispute resolution procedures. (Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A public officer who willfully neglects to perform their duty and/or willfully misconducts themselves to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder is liable to up to life imprisonment. (Common Law offence of Misconduct in Public Office)

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Where a conflict of interest arises, civil servants must declare their interest to senior management so that senior management can determine how best to proceed (Part 4.1.3 of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Where a conflict of interest arises, civil servants must declare their interest to senior management so that senior management can determine how best to proceed (Part 4.1.3 of Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Civil Service Management Code, 2015 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2015 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2015 (English)pdf
Ministerial Code, 2015 (English)pdf
Standing Order 149 on Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, 1995, amended 2009 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

The British Ministerial Code (2010) makes only a general regulation for members of parliament to avoid conflicts of interest. It also includes regulations on conflicts of interests for Ministers, who are restricted from accepting gifts, holding any other public appointment or position in a private company, and must avoid decisions in which they hold a private interest. For two years after leaving office, they must not lobby for government and abide to employment guidelines by an independent advisory committee. Meanwhile, the Civil Service Management Code (2013, last amended 2015) prevents Civil Servants from accepting gifts, holding government contracts, and participating in decisions that affect private interests. Only in exceptional cases may they engage in managing private or public companies, or holding board memberships. A two-year-long cooling off period applies. 

No sanctions are specified for any official who violates regulations on conflicts of interest. For Ministers, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments gives guidance on the rightful interpretation of these laws, while the Committee on Standards and Privileges does the same for Civil Servants. No such body exists for MPs. An enforcement body is not specified for any public officials.

(Note: The Head of State is a monarch and thus exempted from conflicts of interests laws.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Restrictions354040
Sanctions6700
Monitoring and Oversight752525

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers724040
Members of Parliament772020
Civil servants872727

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Accepting gifts No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Holding government contracts No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Post-employment No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Head of State is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise. (Article 7 (1) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Accepting gifts Yes. It is a well established and recognised rule that no Minister should accept gifts, hospitality or services from anyone which would, or might appear to, place him or her under an obligation. The same principle applies if gifts etc are offered to a member of their family. (Article 7 (20) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. When they take up office, Ministers should give up any other public appointment they may hold. Where exceptionally it is proposed that such an appointment should be retained, the Minister should seek the advice of their Permanent Secretary and the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests. (Article 7 (11) Ministerial Code 2010)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Ministers should take care to ensure that they do not become associated with non-public organisations whose objectives may in any degree conflict with Government policy and thus give rise to a conflict of interest. (Article 7 (12) Ministerial Code 2010)
Post-employment Yes. On leaving office, Ministers will be prohibited from lobbying Government for two years. They must also seek advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. Former Ministers must abide by the advice of the Committee. (Article 7 (25) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. When they take up office, Ministers should give up any other public appointment they may hold. Where exceptionally it is proposed that such an appointment should be retained, the Minister should seek the advice of their Permanent Secretary and the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests. (Article 7 (11) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, Ministers on taking up office should give up membership or chairmanship of a Select Committee or All Party Parliamentary Group. This is to avoid any risk of criticism that a Minister is seeking to influence the Parliamentary process. Ministers must also avoid being drawn into a situation whereby their membership of a Committee could result in the belief that ministerial support is being given to a particular policy or funding proposal. (Article 7 (14) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Advisory Committee on Business Appointments provides guidance (Article 7 (25) Ministerial Code, 2015)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest. Members of the House of Lords have a wide range of outside interests and careers and the House thrives on their expertise. The Code in no way seeks either to curtail these interests or careers, or to discourage Members from drawing on the knowledge and expertise so gained in their parliamentary work. It is thus entirely appropriate for a Member of the House also to work in any non-parliamentary sphere of activity, for example as chairman or director of a company; as a member or chief executive of a non-departmental public body; as an officer of a trade union; as a doctor or lawyer. (Article 6-7 Ministerial Code, 2015 Article 18 Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2015)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. It is not only permissible, but desirable, that Members, having declared their employment and other interests, should contribute to debate on issues to which these interests are relevant. (Article 18 Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2015)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Committee on Standards and Privileges tracks data and provides guidance (Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2012)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Civil servants must not misuse their official position or information acquired in the course of their official duties to further their private interests or those of others. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share a civil servant’s private interests (for example freemasonry, membership of societies, clubs and other organisations, and family). Where a conflict of interest arises, civil servants must declare their interest to senior management so that senior management can determine how best to proceed (Article 4 (1) (3) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Accepting gifts Yes. Civil Servants may not accept gifts or hospitality or receive other benefits from anyone which might reasonably be seen to compromise your personal judgement or integrity. (Civil Service Code (2010, last amended 2015) Article 4 (1) (3) (d) Civil Service Management Code (2013, last amended 2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Civil servants may freely invest in shareholdings and other securities unless the nature of their work is such as to require constraints on this. Departments and agencies must not, unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission, let contracts to: any civil servant in the department or agency; To enforce this rule, departments and agencies must require their staff to report relevant business interests. (Article 4 (3) (1) (a) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Civil servants may freely invest in shareholdings and other securities unless the nature of their work is such as to require constraints on this. Departments and agencies must not, unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission, let contracts to: a. any civil servant in the department or agency; b. any partnership of which a civil servant in the department or agency is a member; or c. any company where a civil servant in the department or agency is a director (except as a nominee of the department or agency). To enforce this rule, departments and agencies must require their staff to report relevant business interests. (Article 4 (3) (1) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Holding government contracts Yes. Departments and agencies must not, unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission, let contracts to: a. any civil servant in the department or agency; b. any partnership of which a civil servant in the department or agency is a member; or c. any company where a civil servant in the department or agency is a director (except as a nominee of the department or agency). To enforce this rule, departments and agencies must require their staff to report relevant business interests. (Article 4 (3) (1) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Departments and agencies must require staff to seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly, and must make appropriate arrangements, which reflect the Business Appointments Rules for Civil Servants at annex A and any local needs, for the handling of such requests. Departments and agencies must not, unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission, let contracts to: any company where a civil servant in the department or agency is a director (except as a nominee of the department or agency). To enforce this rule, departments and agencies must require their staff to report relevant business interests. (Article 4 (3) (1) (d) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Post-employment Yes. There is a general 2 year waiting period on Civil Servants -including Permanent Secretaries and Senior Civil Servants -taking up paid employment after leaving the civil service, but this waiting period is adjustable and can be applied differently to various positions within the civil service. The application of the waiting period is within the discretion of the Prime Minister acting under the advise of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments applied on a case by case basis. (Article 9 The Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants )
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. They must not be involved in taking any decision which could affect the value of their private investments, or the value of those on which they give advice to others; or use information acquired in the course of their work to advance their private financial interests or those of others. (Article 4 (3) (4) and 4 (3) (8) Civil Service Management Code, 2015 )
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Civil Service Code, 2010, amended 2015 (English )pdf
Civil Service Management Code, 2015 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members, 2009, amended 2012 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2009, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Ministerial Code, 2015 (English)pdf
The Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants 2014missing file:

Freedom of Information

Access to information in the United Kingdom is established by the Freedom of Information Act (2000, amended 2012). The FOI law applies to the executive and legislative branches of government, and other bodies which exercise functions of a public nature or provide services under a contract made with a public authority. Administrative or financial matters relating to the courts are included. 

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, Official Secrets Act (1989), and the Data Protection Act (1998, amended 2011). However, there is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure.

Appeals may be filed with public bodies or the Information Commissioner, whose decisions are binding. Either the complainant or the public authority may appeal to the Tribunal against a decision issued by the Information Commissioner.

Fines may be applied to employees for preventing disclosure, but it is not clear which public body would impose the penalty.  The Commissioner plays a central role in ensuring compliance with the Act. Duties include:  promoting the observance of good practice by public authorities in implementing the law and its associated Codes of Practice; providing information to the public about the operation of the Act; issuing recommendations on good practice to public authorities, and reporting annually to Parliament on the exercise of his functions under the Act.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage828282
Information access and release838383
Exceptions and Overrides100100100
Sanctions for non-compliance673333
Monitoring and Oversight503333

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access No. Absent from legal framework
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. “information” (subject to sections 51(8) and 75(2)) means information recorded in any form; (Section 84, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. The FOIA sets out a detailed pro-active publication scheme which public bodies must follow, under the supervision of the Information Commissioner. (Section 19, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The executive is covered although there are a few exceptions such as bodies related to security matters which are excluded from the scope fo the FOI Act. (Schedule 1, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Legislative branch Yes. Both Houses of Parliament are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. (Schedule 1, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Judicial branch This access only covers a very limited area of the judiciary's work. . Administrative or financial matters relating to the courts are subject to the Act, including conflicts of interest by judges, disciplinary action taken against judges, guidance issued to the courts, court facilities, etc. (Schedule 1, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Other public bodies Yes. The Act lists a large number of other public bodies which are subject to its provisions. (Schedule 1, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Private sector Yes. The Act can be extended to include other bodies which exercise functions of a public nature, or provide services under a contract made with a public authority. (Section 5(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. There is no explicit provision regarding public availability of draft legal instruments. However, in the UK, the definition of information includes documents under preparation or draft documents. In practice, draft legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are published online by the UK parliament. (Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. There is no explicit provision regarding public availability of enacted legal instruments. However, any information held by the public body can be requested, subject to the stated exemptions. In practice, all enacted legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are published online. (Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Annual budgets Yes. The Treasury must draft and publish an annual budget. There is no explicit provision regarding public availability of annual budgets. However, any information held by the public body can be requested, subject to the stated exemptions. (Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Section 2(1) and 2(4) Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. The accounts of the UK government, local government and around 5,500 other public sector bodies are scrutinised and published annually by HM Treasury. There is no explicit provision regarding public availability of annual accounts in the FOIA. However, any information held by the public body can be requested, subject to the stated exemptions. (Section 11 Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. There is no explicit provision regarding public availability of annual reports in the FOIA. However, any information held by the public body can be requested, subject to the stated exemptions. (Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. Any “person” can request information. In UK law, this covers everyone, regardless of citizenship, legal status or country of residence etc. (Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. A “request for information” must be in writing, including by email, and must be legible and capable of being used for subsequent reference. (Section 8, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. A public authority must provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it. The Code of Practice under Section 45 of the FOI Act sets out in detail the kinds of assistance that should be provided. The Code of Practice makes reference to other relevant legislation such as that covering disability discrimination. (Section 16, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Section II, Code of Practice on the discharge of public authorities' functions under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Issued under section 45 of the Act 2004)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. The FOI Act specifies that fees may be charged for accessing information. The details of what fees can be charged and how these should be calculated, as well as the maximum that can be charged, is set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which accompany the Act .Fees can also be charged for access to personal data. (Section 9, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Section 7(2)(b) Data Protection Act 1998 Statutory Instrument no. 3244: The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. A public authority must comply with a request for information promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt. Extended time limits can be set for certain bodies and under certain circumstances through an additional Regulation, with a maximum of 60 days allowed. For example for some categories of information held in the public archives there is a 30 day deadline. In the case of personal data, there is a response deadline of 40 days. (Section 10(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Statutory Instrument no. 3364: The Freedom of Information (Time for Compliance with Request) Regulations 2004 Section 5(3) Public Records Act 1958 Section 7(8) and 7(10) Data Protection Act 1998)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. The timeline extensions are not clear. Requesters are required to be told that an extension is being taken and be given an estimate of how long it will be. (Section 17(2)(b), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. Official Secrets Act 1989. (Official Secrets Act 1989)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The data protection law protects personal data. (Data Protection Act 1998)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Specific exemptions are set out by the law including national security, defence, international relations, internal relations, economy, law enforcement, audit, conduct of public affairs, health and safety, commercial interests, security, investigations, parliamentary privilege, formulation of government policy, personal data, information received in confidence, legal privilege, and trade secrets.  (Sections 21-44, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities Yes. The internal appeals process is simple and free of charge. There is no statutory time limit (because it is not mandatory) but the Information Commissioner recommends 20 working days for this stage, with no case taking more than 40 working days. (Section 45 (Statutory instrument 3244: Code of Practice issued under Section 45 of the Act, Complaints Procedure, Sections 36-46))
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. An appeal can be made to the Information Commissioner to obtain a decision on whether a request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the law. (Sections 50 and 51, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. Either the complainant or the public authority may appeal to the Tribunal against a decision issued by the Information Commissioner. (Section 57(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. The Information Commissioner can issue an enforcement notice for failure to to comply with any of the requirements of the law. The notice would require the authority to take such steps as may be necessary to comply with the law within a specified timeframe. On receipt of such an enforcement notice, certain public bodies are able to issue a certificate to the Information Commissioner explaining how they are not breaking the law and how they need not, therefore, comply with the Commissioner's notice. If a public authority fails to comply with an enforcement order, the Information Commissioner can refer the matter to the courts. (Sections 52, 53 and 54, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Sections 40 and 41 Data Protection Act 1998)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. It is an offence for a public authority or its employees to alter, deface, block, erase, destroy or conceal records held by a public authority with the intention of preventing its disclosure. A person found guilty of the offence is liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently Ł5000). The offence cannot be committed by a government department but can be committed by civil servants. (Section 77, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Sections 45 and 46 require the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor to issue Codes of Practice which provide guidance to public authorities on 'desirable practice' in discharging their functions under Part I of the Act, and in relation to records management. The Codes themselves do not have statutory force. However, failure to comply with the provisions of the Codes may lead to breach of the Act, and ultimately enforcement action being taken by the Information Commissioner. (Sections 45 and 46, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. The Information Commissioner can issue an enforcement notice for failure to to comply with any of the requirements of the law, but this is not considered a sanction. (Sections 52, 53 and 54, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Sections 40 and 41 Data Protection Act 1998, amended 2015)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) Yes. The Information Commissioner is mandated to provide the public with information on the operation of the Act and good practice and to approve the publications schemes that public authorities are required to set up by law. (Sections 19, 20 and 47, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Code of Practice on the discharge of public authorities' functions under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Issued under section 45 of the Act 2004)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. Yes. The Information Commissioner is an independent officer who reports directly to Parliament. The sponsoring body within government is the Department for Media, Culture & Sport. In addition to hearing appeals, s/he plays a central role in ensuring compliance with the Act. Duties include: • Promoting the observance of good practice by public authorities in implementing the law and its associated Codes of Practice; • Providing information to the public about the operation of the Act; • Issuing recommendations on good practice to public authorities s/he considers not to be conforming with the good practice set out in the Codes of Practice. • Reporting annually to Parliament on the exercise of his functions under the Act. (Section 47-49 Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 Section 9, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 )
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. The Information Commissioner may share information obtained by him/her or given to him/her under the FOI Act or Data Protection Act with one of a specified list of ombudsmen if the Commissioner believes the information relates to a matter which could be the subject of an investigation by the ombudsman in question. (Section 76, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Sections 45 and 46 require the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor to issue Codes of Practice which provide guidance to public authorities on 'desirable practice' in discharging their functions under Part I of the Act, and in relation to records management. The Codes themselves do not have statutory force. However, failure to comply with the provisions of the Codes may lead to breach of the Act, and ultimately enforcement action being taken by the Information Commissioner. (Sections 45 and 46, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 (English)pdf
Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 (English)pdf
Code of Practice on the discharge of public authorities' functions under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Issued under section 45 of the Act 2004 (English)pdf
Data Protection Act 1998, amended 2015missing file:
Statutory Instrument no. 3244: The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (English)pdf
Statutory Instrument no. 3364: The Freedom of Information (Time for Compliance with Request) Regulations 2004 (English)pdf
Public Records Act 1958, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Official Secrets Act 1989, amended 2013 (English)pdf

Public Procurement

The British public procurement system is regulated by the Public Contracts Regulation (2015), and there are new draft (not yet implemented) regulations on Utilities Contracts Regulation (2016) and Concession Contract Regulations (2016). The public procurement body is the Public Procurement Advisory Unit, which is an organization under the Ministry of Employment and Economy.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are: 

GBP 10,000 (ca. EUR 14000) for (i) goods, (ii) works and (iii) services respectively for the public sector.

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures, competitive dialogue and innovation partnership. The minimum submission period is 35 days for open procedures, 30 days for restricted procedures and 30 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is preferential treatment for EU countries in case of innovation partnership, and sustainability can be considered in the tendering process. However, there are several options for bid exclusion: not complying with the procurement documents, bids received after deadline, evidence of collusion or corruption, tenderers which do not have the required qualifications, or whose price exceeds the contracting authorities’ budget as determined in launching the procurement procedure. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, no form of independence from the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is no payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure, and court decisions are publicly released as judicial records.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope6969
Information availability8080
Evaluation5050
Open competition7575
Institutional arrangements5454

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) GBP 10000. mandatory e-publication (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 109.2.c)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) GBP 10000. mandatory e-publication (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 109.2.c)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) GBP 10000. mandatory e-publication (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 109.2.c)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) GBP 111676. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 5(1)(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) GBP 345028. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 5(1)(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) GBP 97262. Not specified by law, hence EU threshold applies (EUR 134000), using 0.72584 GBP/EUR exchange rates.

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) GBP 111676. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 5(1)(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) GBP 345028. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 5(1)(a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) GBP 111676. from EU directives (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 5(1)(a))

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? those in part C, annex 5 of Directive: including all causes of tender exclusion, conditions for participation and award criteria and weighting. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 49)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? yes. Contract finder, on behalf of Cabinet Office (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 106)
Is it mandatory to keep these records? Public notices of bidding opportunities, Bidding documents and addenda, Bid opening records, Bid evaluation reports, Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, Claims and dispute resolutions, Final payments, Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) yes. CA shall, at least for the duration of the contract, keep copies of al concluded contracts with a value equal or greater than EUR 1,000,000 for supply/services or EUR 10,000,000 for works (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 83)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? no. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 33)

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? yes. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 71 and Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006, reg. 43)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? Not specified. 0

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? no. 0
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? yes. Open list, in particular, tenders which do not comply with the procurement documents, which were received late, where there is evidence of collusion or corruption, abnormally low price, tenderers which do not have the required qualifications, or whose price exceeds the CA's budget as determined in launching the procurement procedure (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 26 (5) (6) (7))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? no. 0 (-)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) yes. yes, only for innovation partnerships and only third countries (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 31)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? yes. Yes (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 62)
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. yes. abnormally low tenders (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 69)

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? yes. CLASSIC: CA shall specify criteria and relative weighting to determine MEAT, except if criteria is price alone. If not possible, criteria would be listed according to importance. UTILITIES: MEAT and offering of the lowest price as criteria. (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 69 and Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006, reg. 30(1) )
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? yes. 0
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? yes. general provisions: 'CA shall take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures so as to avoid any distortion of competition and to ensure equal treatment ot all economic operators' (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 24)
If yes, what is banned? relevant staff members with financial, economic or other personal interest that might compromise impartiality and independence. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 24)
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? no. but there is guidance from Cabinet Office and ex post accountability bodies (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 107)
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? no. 0
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? closed list. tenders from tenderers which do not have the required qualifications or tenders whose price exceeds the CA's budget as determined and documented prior to the launch of the procedure (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 26(7))

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) TED, Contracts finder (UK) and CA's website. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 106)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) TED, Contracts finder (UK) and CA's website. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 54, 106)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) TED, Contracts finder (UK) and CA's website. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, arts. 54, 106)

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED 5. restricted procedure 5; competitive procedure with negotation 3, competitive dialogue 3, innovation partnership 3 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 65(2))
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. restricted procedure 5; competitive procedure with negotation 3, competitive dialogue 3, innovation partnership 3 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 65(2))
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE 3. restricted procedure 5; competitive procedure with negotation 3, competitive dialogue 3, innovation partnership 3 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 65(2))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 35. 35 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 27(2))
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 30. 30 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 28(2))
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 30. 30 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 29(4))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? those regulated by international instruments, land, audiovisual programmes and media, arbitration or conciliation, notaries, legal services (some), financial services and Central Banking, employment, transport by rail or metro, political campaign services and others. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, arts. 9 and 10)
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? bodies governed by public law, central government authorities, central purchasing bodies, sub-central contracting authorities . 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 2)
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? open, restricted, competitive procedure with negotiation, competitive dialogue and innovation partnerships. (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 26)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? no. Courts of First instance (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 91)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? yes. National Audit Office
Is the procurement regulatory body independent? yes.
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? 0
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? no. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? no. 0
If yes, how much Not applicable. 0
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? yes. 0 (Public Contracts Regulations 2015, reg. 95(1))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? Not specified. 0
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? yes. judicial records

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Public Contracts Regulations 2015 REMOVE - WRONG DATESmissing file:
Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 - REMOVE NOT RELEVANTmissing file:
Public Contracts Regulations 2006missing file:
Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009missing file:
Public Procurement (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2011missing file:
Public Contracts Regulations 2015missing file:
Modern Slavery Act Consequential Amendments 2015missing file:
Public Procurement (Amendments, Repeals, Revocations) Regulations 2016missing file: