EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

United Kingdom

Country score (European Average*)
  • 76(66) Political Financing
  • 38(53) Financial Disclosure
  • 59(37) Conflict of Interest
  • 66(59) Freedom of Information
  • 60(62) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)38625.75
Population, total65637239.00
Urban population (% of total)82.84
Internet users (per 100 people)94.78
Life expectancy at birth (years)81.60
Mean years of schooling (years)13.3
Global Competitiveness Index5.5
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 (amended 2015) 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 much 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

20122015201620172020Trend
Bans and limits on private income4242424242
Public funding6262626262
Regulations on spending100100100100100
Reporting, oversight and sanctions92100100100100

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 2016)
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. Part II-Schedule 7 (1). (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 2016 Schedule Part II-7(1) Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, amended 2016)

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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016 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 2016 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 ] of reasonable times between the receipt of the writ and[F513the day preceding] the date of the poll of— (a) a suitable room in the premises of a school to which this section applies; (b) any meeting room to which this section applies. (Section 95 Representation of the People Act 1983, amended 2016)
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 2016)
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 (b) corruptly does any such act as mentioned above on account of any voterhaving voted or refrained from voting, or (c) makes any such gift or procurement as mentioned above to or for any personin order to induce that person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the returnof any person at an election or the vote of any voter, or if upon or in consequence of any such gift or procurement as mentioned above heprocures or engages, promises or endeavours to procure the return of any person at anelection or the vote of any voter. (Section 113 Representation of the People Act 1983,a mended 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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, 2016)

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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016)
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 2016 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 2016)
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 2016)
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

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 2016 (English)pdf
Electoral Commission Guidance, 2016 (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Financial Disclosure

In the United Kingdom, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Civil Servants are required to disclose debts, 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 2016), for MPs in the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members (1996, last amended 2015), and in the Civil Service Management Code (2010, last amended 2016) 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

20122015201620172020Trend
Disclosure items5147474748
Filing frequency2525252525
Sanctions5842424242
Monitoring and Oversight7544444444
Public access to declarations3831313131

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State70000
Ministers5135353536
Members of Parliament8467676767
Civil servants5750505050

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

Filing frequency

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

Sanctions

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

Monitoring and Oversight

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

Public access to declarations

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

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Income and Assets
Real estate 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Movable assets 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Income from outside employment/assets 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Gifts of a higher value should be handed over to the department for disposal unless the recipient wishes to purchase the gift abated by Ł140. Departments will publish, on a quarterly basis, details of gifts received and given by Ministers valued at more than Ł140. (Part 7.22 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) 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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2019 (amended in 2019))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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 (ACoBA) about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. To ensure that Ministers are fully aware of their future obligations in respect of outside appointments after leaving office, the Business Appointment Rules are attached at Annex B. Former Ministers must abide by the advice of the Committee which will be published by the Committee when a role is announced or taken up. (Part 7.25 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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, 2016 (amended 2019))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

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. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

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

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The Ministry’s respective Permanent Secretary. (Part 7.3 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
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. Ministers must record in writing what action has been taken, and provide the Permanent Secretary and the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests with a copy of that record. (Part 7.4 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. A statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly. (Part 7.5 of Ministerial Code, 2016 (amended 2019))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

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. (Chapter 2, section 4, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) and Appendix to the Guide to the Rules (Resolution of 22 May 1974) Part 10 (a) Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2009 (amended 2020))
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 47 and 48, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) (amended 2019) )
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 22 and 23, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 6, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 22 and 23, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) )
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 51 and 52, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) )
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, 2009 (amended 2020) Chapter 1, Section 51 and 52, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Section 50, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2009 (amended 2020) )
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))

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, 2009 (amended 2020) )
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))

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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Part 10 (a) Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, 2009)
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Section 18 and 19, Guide to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2009 (amended 2020) )
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 (2009, last amended 2019))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2009 (amnded 2020))
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2009 (amended 2020) )
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 Code of Conduct of the House of Commons, 2015 (amended 2019) Section 48, Guide to the to the Code of Conduct of the House of Lords, 2009 (amended 2020))

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). 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 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cash No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Loans and Debts Yes. Civil servants who become bankrupt or insolvent must report the fact to their department or agency. Civil servants must let their department or agency know if they are arrested and refused bail, or if they are convicted of any criminal offence. This does not apply to a traffic offence unless an official car was involved, or the penalty included imprisonment or disqualification from driving. 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, 2016)
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, 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. (Part 4.3.4 of Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. 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. Departments and agencies must inform staff, taking into account the principle in paragraph 4.1.3(d), of the circumstances in which they need to report offers of gifts, hospitality, awards, decorations and other benefits and of the circumstances in which they need to seek permission before accepting them. In drawing up such rules departments and agencies must draw the attention of staff to the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010. (Part 4.1.3 (d), Part 4.3.5 Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. 4.3.8 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. 4.3.9 Civil servants must therefore 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, 2016 )
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. 4.3.8 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. 4.3.9 Civil servants must therefore 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, 2016 )
Holding government contracts Yes. 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. 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. (Part 4.1.3(b) and Part 4.3.1, Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm 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 (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
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, 2016)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests 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 (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts 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 (Part 4.1.3 (c) of Civil Service Management Code, 2016)

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. Additionally, the Minister for the Civil Service requires that departments and agencies must act within the central framework set out below. 4.5.2 Disciplinary procedures may be invoked in certain circumstances in addition to, or instead of, criminal investigations or legal proceedings. Departments and agencies should consult their legal advisers before taking disciplinary action in parallel with criminal proceedings and comply with the section below on suspension from duty. 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 4.5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
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. Additionally, the Minister for the Civil Service requires that departments and agencies must act within the central framework set out below. 4.5.2 Disciplinary procedures may be invoked in certain circumstances in addition to, or instead of, criminal investigations or legal proceedings. Departments and agencies should consult their legal advisers before taking disciplinary action in parallel with criminal proceedings and comply with the section below on suspension from duty. 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 4.5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code, 2016)
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, 2016)
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, 2016)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Public access to declarations

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

Legislation

Ministerial Code of 2019_ENG (English)pdf
House of Commons Code of Conduct and Guide to Rules of 2012_ENG (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords of 2009_ENG (English)pdf
Standing Order 149 of 2009_ENG (English)pdf
Civil Service Management Code of 2016_ENG (English)pdf
Government's Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants of 2020_ENG (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Conflict of Interest

The British Ministerial Code (2016) 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 2016) 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 House of Lords Commissioner for Standards does the same for MPs. No such body exists for Civil Servants. 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

20122015201620172020Trend
Restrictions3540404235
Sanctions6700067
Monitoring and Oversight7525253875

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State00000
Ministers7240404072
Members of Parliament7720204077
Civil servants8727272787

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

Sanctions

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

Monitoring and Oversight

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

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Ministers must ensure that Noconflict arises between their public duties and their private interests. In exceptional cases when a Minister wishes to retain an interest, Part 7, Points 8 and 9 of the Code state that the Prime Minister must be consulted and it may be necessary for the Minister to cease to hold the office in question. (Part 7 of the Ministerial Code (2007))
Accepting gifts Yes. Ministers should not accept any gift or hospitality which may compromise their judgment or place them under an improper obligation. The same principle applies if gifts are offered to a member of their family. Gifts of less than Ł140 may be retained by the recipient. Gifts of a higher value should be handed over to the department for disposal unless the recipient wishes to purchase the gift. (Part 1 and Part 7 of the Ministerial Code (2007))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
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 employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. (Part 7 Point 25 Ministerial Code (2007))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. On taking office, Ministers should give up any other public appointment they may hold. (Part 7, Point 11 of the Ministerial Code (2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Ministers must ensure that Noconflict arises between their public duties and their private interests. In exceptional cases when a Minister wishes to retain an interest, Part 7, Points 8 and 9 of the Code state that the Prime Minister must be consulted and it may be necessary for the Minister to cease to hold the office in question. Where it has been deemed acceptable for a Minister to retain a private interest, he or she should declare that interest to Ministerial colleagues if they have to discuss public business which in any way affects it and the Minister should remain entirely detached from the consideration of that business. (Part 7, Point 4 of the Ministerial Code (2007))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. According to the Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906), public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. According to the Common Law offence of Misconduct in Public Office, a public officer who willfully neglects to perform his/her duty and/or willfully misconducts themselves to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust will be liable to up to life imprisonment. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906) Common Law offence of Misconduct in Public Office (2007))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Permanent Secretary determines the handling of interests. Ministers must record in writing what action has been taken, and provide the Permanent Secretary and the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests with a copy of that record. (Part 7, Point 4 of the Ministerial Code (2007))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Upon appointment Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a written list of all interests which might give rise to a conflict, including those of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family. (Part 7, Point 3 of the Ministerial Code (2007))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. MPs are advised that they should make decisions solely in terms of the public interest and not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties and in carrying out public business. Lords are advised in the seven principles laid out in Point 9 of the Code that they should make decisions solely in terms of the public interest and not in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends; nor should they place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties and in carrying out public business. (Part 4 of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996) Part 9 of House of Lords Code of Conduct (2010))
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. An MP is disqualified from the House of Commons if they are a Lord Spiritual, hold a judicial office, are employed in the civil service, are a member of any regular armed forces, police force or are a member of the legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth (other than Ireland). (Section 1 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act (1975))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. An MP can be disqualified from serving on a committee on a private Bill if they have a direct private interest, where there is a potential benefit or disadvantage to the Member arising from the matter in issue, or a local constituent interest that affects the constituency as a whole or a significant number of constituents in the Bill. (Point 67 of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. According to Part 4, Point 88 of the Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members in the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996), MPs may receive administrative sanctions for violations of conflict of interest. (Part 4, Point 88 of the Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. According to the Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906), public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. According to the Common Law offence of Misconduct in Public Office, a public officer who willfully neglects to perform his/her duty and/or willfully misconducts themselves to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust will be liable to up to life imprisonment. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906) Common Law offence of Misconduct in Public Office (2007))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Committee on Standards and Privileges considers matters relating to the conduct of MPs. A House of Lords Commissioner for Standards is responsible for investigating alleged breaches of the Code. (Part 4, Points 89 and 90 of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996) Points 16, 17 and 18 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords (2009))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Committee on Standards and Privileges will consider any matter relating to the conduct of MPs, including specific complaints in relation to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct or Guide to which the House has agreed and which have been drawn to the Committee’s attention by the Commissioner. The Committee has power under its Standing Order to send for persons, papers and records; to order the attendance of any Member before it; and to require that specific documents in the possession of a Member relating to its inquiries or to the inquiries of the Commissioner be laid before it. A House of Lords Commissioner for Standards is responsible for investigating alleged breaches of the Code. After investigation the Commissioner reports the findings to the Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct; the Sub-Committee reviews the 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. (Part 4, Points 89 and 90 of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (1996) Points 16, 17 and 18 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords (2009))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Civil servants must not be involved in 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, Subsection 3 of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Accepting gifts Yes. 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, Subsection 1 of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts Yes. Departments and agencies must not give 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), unless the civil servant has fully disclosed the measure of his/her interest in the contract and senior management has given permission. (Part 4, Subsection 3, Point 1 of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Civil servants are required 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. (Part 4, Subsection 3. Point 4 of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Post-employment Yes. Civil servants must abide by the rules governing employment for two years after the last day of paid Civil Service employment. Before accepting any new employment, all civil servants must consider whether an application under the Rules is required. If it is required, they should not accept a new job offer before it has been approved. (Part 4, Subsection 3, Annex A of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Civil servants must not be involved in 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, Subsection 3 of the Civil Servant Management Code (2010))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. According to the Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906), public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. According to Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010), departments and agencies are responsible for their own dismissal, disciplinary and grievance arrangements for conflict of interest violations. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906) Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. According to the Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906), public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. According to Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010), departments and agencies are responsible for their own dismissal, disciplinary and grievance arrangements for conflict of interest violations. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906) Part 4, Subsection 5, Points 1, 2 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Public servants convicted of corruption are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. (Act for the Better Prevention of Corruption (1906))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Senior management of the civil servant where a conflict of interest arises are responsible for consultation, along with the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. (Part 4, Subsections 1 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Senior management of the civil servant where a conflict of interest arises are responsible for enforcement, along with the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. Processes depend on the seniority of the civil servant. (Part 4, Subsections 1 and 3 of the Civil Service Management Code (2010))

Legislation

Ministerial Code Updated 2019 (English)pdf
House of Commons Code of Conduct and Guide to Rules of 2019 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords of 2020 (English)pdf
The Civil Service Code (Statutory guidance) Updated 16 March 2015 (English)pdf
Civil Service Management Code (Guidance) Updated 9 November 2016 (English)pdf
Government's Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants (Guidance) Updated 22 September 2020 (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Freedom of Information

Access to information in the United Kingdom is established by the Freedom of Information Act (2000, amended 2016). 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

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope and Coverage8282828282
Information access and release8383838383
Exceptions and Overrides100100100100100
Sanctions for non-compliance6733333333
Monitoring and Oversight5033333333

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 2020)
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 2020)

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 2020)
Legislative branch Yes. Both Houses of Parliament are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. (Schedule 1, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020)

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 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020 Section 2(1) and 2(4) Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011, amended 2018)
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, amended 2019 Section 1(1), Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2020)
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 2020)

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 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020 Section II, Article 2.3-2.5 Freedom of Information Code of Practice, 2018)
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 2020 Article 134-138 Data Portection Act 2018 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 2020 Statutory Instrument no. 3364: The Freedom of Information (Time for Compliance with Request) Regulations 2004 Section 5(3) Public Records Act 1958, amended 2020 Data Protection Act 2018)
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 2020)
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, amended 2018. (Official Secrets Act 1989, amended 2018)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The data protection law protects personal data. (Data Protection Act 2018)
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 2020)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest. Yes. The public interest only applies to some of the exceptions listed: defence, international relations, internal relations, the economy, law enforcement, prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs and health and safety. (Sections 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 36, 38, Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2020)

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 50 Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020)

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 2020 Schedule 16 Data Protection Act 2018)
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 2020)
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 Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Secretary of State 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 2020)
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 2020 Schedule 16 Data Protection Act 2018)
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 2020 Chapter 8 Freedom of Information Code of Practice, 2018)
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 9, 47-49 Freedom of Information Act 2000, amended 2020)
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 2020)
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 2020)

Legislation

Freedom of Information Act of 2000_ENG (English)pdf
Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act of 2011_ENG (English)pdf
Government Resources and Accounts Act of 2000_ENG (English)pdf
Freedom of Information Code of Practice of 2018_ENG (English)pdf
Data Protection Act of 2018_ENG (English)pdf
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limits and Fees) Regulations of 2004_ENG (English)pdf
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Time for Compliance) Regulations of 2004_ENG (English)pdf
Public Records Act of 1958_ENG (English)pdf
Official Secrets Act of 1989_ENG (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


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 is:

●         GBP 10,000 (ca. EUR 11,000) for goods,  works and services

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 of  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

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope167792
Information availability22222247
Evaluation31753175
Open competition78756764
Institutional arrangements21212121

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. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) GBP 377873. EU thresholds apply. As of 2020, these are: EUR 428,000 for supply and service contracts as well as for design contests, and EUR 5,350,000 for works contracts. Note that these thresholds refer to the minimum contract value for which a notice must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union under the Utilties Contracts Regulations 2016. No separate requirement to publish on Contracts Finder applies. (The Utilities Contracts Regulations No. 274 of 2016, as amended in 2019, Regs. 3 (1) and 16)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) GBP 353241. EU thresholds apply. As of 2020, these are: EUR 400,000 for supply and service contracts and EUR 5,000,000. Note that these thresholds refer to the minimum contract value for which a notice must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union under Directive 2009/81/EC. No separate requirement to publish on Contracts Finder applies. (The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations No. 1848 of 2011, as amended in 2019, Reg.)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) GBP 10000. Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015 applies to contracts with a value below EU threholds. However, it does not apply to contracts where the contracting authority is: 1. a central government authority and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 10,000; and 2. a sub-central contracting authority or an NHS Trust, and the procurement has a value net of VAT estimated to be less than GBP 25,000. Above these values, the contracting authority is obliged to publish information about the opportunity, as well as an award notice on Contracts Finder (www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk), regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the opportunity. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 109 (2), 110 (2) and 112)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. Contracting authorities must provide unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents from the date on which a notice is published, either on the OJEU (above EU thresholds) or on Contract Finder (below thresholds). (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 53 (1) (2) (3) and 110 (12) (13) (14) (15))
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk and OJEU/TED (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 52, 53, 110 and 112)
Is it mandatory to keep all of 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. For contracts above EU thresholds, contracting authorities shall document the progress of all procurement procedures, whether or not they are conducted by electronic means. To that end, contracting authorities shall ensure that they keep sufficient documentation to justify decisions taken in all stages of the procurement procedure, such as documentation on: (a) communications with economic operators and internal deliberations; (b) preparation of the procurement documents; (c) dialogue or negotiation if any; (d) selection and award of the contract. The documentation shall be kept for a period of at least 3 years from the date of award of the contract. Additionally, contracting authorities shall, at least for the duration of the contract, keep copies of all concluded contracts with a value equal to or greater than: (a) EUR 1,000,000 in the case of public supply contracts or public service contracts; (b) EUR 10,000,000 in the case of public works contracts. For contracts below EU thresholds, the Law is silent. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 83 and 84 (7) (8) (9))
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? Yes. Publication of an award notice on Contracts Finder is required for contracts awarded under framework agreements (below EU thresholds). However, publication of an award notice of such mini-contracts in the OJEU is not mandatory. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 50 (4) and 108 (1) (b) (2))

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? No. If a contract is covered by Part 2 of the Regulations, an award notice must be published in the OJEU. The contents of the OJEU award notice include item 14: "14. where appropriate, for each award, value and proportion of contract likely to be subcontracted to third parties." - this requirement does not apply in respect of below-threshold contracts. However, further information, such as names of subcontractors, are not necessarily made public (not mandatory). Obligations to disclose details of subcontractors may arise under FOI. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 50 (2) and 52 (5) Directive 2014/24/EU, Annex V, Part D)
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. General. ( )

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. Unless justified by the subject-matter of the contract, technical specifications shall not refer to a specific make or source, or a particular process which characterises the products or services provided by a specific economic operator, or to trade marks, patents, types or a specific origin or production with the effect of favouring or eliminating certain undertakings or certain products. But such reference is permitted on an exceptional basis, where a sufficiently precise and intelligible description of the subject-matter of the contract is not possible, in which case the reference shall be accompanied by the words “or equivalent”. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 42 (12) (13))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. The only relevent mention in the Regulations concerns the obligation, imposed on the contracting authority, to publish on Contracts Finder information on whether the contractor (bidder awarded the public contract) is an SME or non-governmental organisation, or not. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 112 (1) (d))
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. Contracting authorities shall treat economic operators equally and without discrimination and shall act in a transparent and proportionate manner. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 18 (1))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. Contracting authorities are free to carry out green/sustainable procurement but must respect certain procedural rules set out in the Regulations, notably: i) definition of technical specifications by reference to environmental characteristics; ii) references to environmental labels; iii) references to environmental management measures/systems; iv) use of environmental award criteria; v) use of life-cycle costing; vi) use of environmental or social contract performance clauses. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 42, 43, 56 (2), 62, 67, 68 and 70)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. Main mandatory grounds of exclusion include conviction for: (a) conspiracy where that conspiracy relates to participation in a criminal organisation on the fight against organised crime; (b) corruption; (c) the common law offence of bribery; (d) bribery within the meaning of sections 1, 2 or 6 of the Bribery Act 2010, or section 113 of the Representation of the People Act 1983; (e) where the offence relates to fraud affecting the European Communities’ financial interests (different offences); (f) any offence listed: (i) in section 41 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008; or (ii) in Schedule 2 to that Act where the court has determined that there is a terrorist connection; (g) any offence under sections 44 to 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 which relates to an offence coverered by subparagraph (f); (h) money laundering; (i) an offence in connection with the proceeds of criminal conduct; (j) an offence under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004; (k) an offence under section 59A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; (l) an offence under section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2000; (m) an offence in connection with the proceeds of drug trafficking within the meaning of section 49, 50 or 51 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994; (ma) an offence under section 1, 2 or 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015; (n) any other offence within the meaning of Article 57(1) of the Public Contracts Directive. Additionally, bidders can be excluded if the contracting authority is aware that the economic operator is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions. Main discretionary grounds of exclusion include: (a) violation of applicable obligations referred to in regulation 56(2); (b) bankruptcy, insolvency or winding-up proceedings, or analogous situations arising from a similar procedure; (c) grave professional misconduct, which renders the bidder's integrity questionable; (d) where the contracting authority has sufficiently plausible indications to conclude that the economic operator has entered into agreements with other economic operators aimed at distorting competition; (e) where a conflict of interest within the meaning of regulation 24 cannot be effectively remedied by other, less intrusive, measures; (f) where a distortion of competition from the prior involvement of the economic operator in the preparation of the procurement procedure, as referred to in regulation 41, cannot be remedied by other, less intrusive, measures; (g) where the economic operator has shown significant or persistent deficiencies in the performance of a substantive requirement under a prior public contract; (h) where the economic operator has been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria or has withheld such information or is not able to submit supporting documents required under regulation 59; or (i) where the economic operator has undertaken to unduly influence the decision-making process of the contracting authority, or obtained confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure, or negligently provided misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 57)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. Contracting authorities may exclude tenders which are found to be abnormally low but only after seeking explanation from the bidder concerned. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 69)
Are scoring criteria published? Yes. The contracting authority must specify, in the procurement documents, the relative weighting which it gives to each of the criteria chosen to determine the most economically advantageous tender, except where this is identified on the basis of price alone. Those weightings may be expressed by providing for a range with an appropriate maximum spread. Where weighting is not possible for objective reasons, the contracting authority must indicate the criteria in decreasing order of importance. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 67 (9) (10) (11) )
Are decisions always made by a committee? No. ( )
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. Contracting authorities 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 of all economic operators. The concept of conflicts of interest shall at least cover any situation where relevant staff members have, directly or indirectly, a financial, economic or other personal interest which might be perceived to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of the procurement procedure. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 24)
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. ( )
Are scoring results publicly available? No . There is no requirement to publish scoring results in award notices or otherwise. However unsuccessful bidders who have submitted an admissible tender (ie one that qualifies for evaluation) are entitled to receive information, upon request, about the characteristics and relative advantages of the winning bid, which may in some case include a comparison of scores. Details of scoring may also be made available subject to an FOI request or court order. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 55 (2) (c) and 86 (2) (b))
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? No. Contracting authorities are free to cancel a tender in any circumstances. If they do so, the only requirement is that they must notify all tenderers and candidates as soon as possible of the decision to abandon or recommence a procedure, including the grounds for this decision. A contracting authority may withold this information if its disclosure: (a) would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest; (b) would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of any economic operator, whether public or private; or (d) might prejudice fair competition between economic operators. Information on procedures cancelled may also be published on buyers profiles. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 52 (2) (a) and 55 (1) (3))

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes . Contracts valued above GBP 10000 (GBP 25000 for non-central authorities) must be published on www.contractsfinder.gov.uk. Contracts valued above the EU threshold must be published in the Official Journal of the EU which is made available online at http://ted.europa.eu (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 51, 52, 110)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Contracts valued above GBP 10000 (GBP 25000 for non-central authorities) must be published on www.contractsfinder.gov.uk. Contracts valued above the EU threshold must be published in the Official Journal of the EU which is made available online at http://ted.europa.eu (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 51, 52, 110)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Contracts valued above GBP 10000 (GBP 25000 for non-central authorities) must be published on www.contractsfinder.gov.uk. Contracts valued above the EU threshold must be published in the Official Journal of the EU which is made available online at http://ted.europa.eu (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 51, 52, 110)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? General. A minimum of 5 candidates are to be invited in a restricted procedure. Where fewer than 5 candidates meet the criteria, the contracting authority may continue the procedure by inviting the candidates with the required capabilities. In the context of the same procedure, the contracting authority shall not include economic operators that did not request to participate, or candidates that do not have the required capabilities. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 65 (3) (5) (6) (7))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? General. A minimum of 3 candidates are to be invited in a negotiated procedure. Where fewer than three candidates meet the criteria, the contracting authority may continue the procedure by inviting the candidates with the required capabilities. In the context of the same procedure, the contracting authority shall not include economic operators that did not request to participate, or candidates that do not have the required capabilities. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 65 (4) (5) (6) (7))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? General. A contracting authority may limit the number of candidates to be invited to tender provided it has indicated in the contract notice i) the objective and non-discriminatory criteria which it will apply to limit the number and ii) the minimum number to be invited, which must not be less than 3. If fewer than three candidates meet the criteria, the contracting authority may continue provided i) it invites only those candidates who meet the criteria and requested to participate and ii) the number is sufficient to ensure genuine competition. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 65 (4) (5) (6) (7))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? General. This is the minimum period prior to any available reductions. Reductions are available where: i) a valid Prior Information Notice is published - can reduce bidding period to 15 days; ii) in a state of urgency substantiated by the contracting authority - 15 days; iii) tenders submitted by electronic means are accepted - 30 days. Contracting authorities must take account of all the circumstances, including the complexity of the contract and the time required to draw up tenders. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 27 (2) (4) (5) (6) and 47 (1))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? General. A minimum of 30 days must be allowed for expressions of interest, which may be reduced to 15 days in cases of urgency. 30 days is the bidding period for restricted procedures prior to any available reductions; this may be reduced by: i) publication of a valid Prior Information Notice - reduction to 10 days; ii) state of urgency substantiated by contracting authority - reduction to 15 days; iii) tenders submitted by electronic means are accepted - reduction to 25 days; iv) sub-central contracting authorities may set time limits by agreement with all bidders, in absence of such agreement a minimum of 10 days must be allowed. Contracting authorities must take account of all the circumstances, including the complexity of the contract and the time required to draw up tenders. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 28 (2) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) and 47 (1))
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? General. A minimum of 30 days must be allowed for expressions of interest, which may be reduced to 15 days in cases of urgency. 30 days is the bidding period for competitive negotiated procedures prior to any available reductions; this may be reduced by: i) publication of a valid Prior Information Notice - reduction to 10 days; ii) state of urgency substantiated by contracting authority - reduction to 15 days; iii) tenders submitted by electronic means are accepted - reduction to 25 days; iv) sub-central contracting authorities may set time limits by agreement with all bidders, in absence of such agreement a minimum of 10 days must be allowed. Contracting authorities must take account of all the circumstances, including the complexity of the contract and the time required to draw up tenders. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 29 (2) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) and 47 (1))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. Main exceptions include: i) contracts covered by or exempt from the Utility Contracts Regulations or Concessions Contract Regulations; ii) for the provision of public communications networks or electronic communications services; iii) contracts or design contests awarded pursuant to international rules; iv) for the acquisition or rental of land, existing buildings or other immovable property, or which concern interests in or rights over any of them; (v) related to audiovisual media services or radio media services; (vi) concerning broadcasting time or programme provision that are awarded to audiovisual or radio media service providers; (vii) for arbitration or conciliation services; (viii) for specified legal services; (ix) concerning financial services in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; (x) related to central bank services, or operations conducted with the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism; (xi) for loans, whether or not in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; (xii) employment contracts (xiii) for specified civil defence, civil protection, and danger prevention services; (xiv) for public passenger transport services by rail or metro; (xv) for political campaign services; (xvi) certain works and services contracts (e.g. civil engineering, building of hospitals and schools) if the contract is subsidised by 50% or less by a contracting authority; (xvii) for certain research and development services; (xviii) contracts covered by or exempt from the Defence and Security Regulations. In addition, certain contracts between public bodies are exempt where these meet the conditions set out in Regulation 12 (Teckal and Hamburg exemptions). (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 7-17)
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. Contracting authorities, for the purposes of the Regulation, means the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law, and includes central government authorities, but does not include Her Majesty in her private capacity. Schedule 1 lists the central government bodies covered by the Regulations. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 2 (1) and Schedule 1)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Open procedure, restricted procedure, competitive procedure with negotiation, competitive dialogue, innovation partnership, negotiated without prior publication and design contests. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 26, 27-32 and 78-82)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? No. Proceedings against the contracting authority's decisions can be initiated before the High Court, which is not a dedicated court in the sense that it deals solely with procurement disputes. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 91 (2))
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? No. Both the Cabinet Office and National Audit Office play a role in issuing guidance and supervising public procurement. However, they are not regulatory bodies in the sense of enforcing penalties for infringements of the rules. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Regs. 110 (16), 111 (7) (8) and 112 (3))
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. ( )
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. This would only be required if the bidder is relying on the financial or technical capacity of the beneficial owners, in which case it must provide information including confirmation that such parties comply with the exclusion criteria. (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 63 (4))

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. Applications to the High Court incur a fee that are set by the High Court of England and Wales.
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes . Where a claim form has been issued in respect of a contracting authority’s decision to award the contract, the contracting authority has become aware that the claim form has been issued and that it relates to that decision, and the contract has not been entered into, the contracting authority is required to refrain from entering into the contract. The requirement continues until any of the following occurs: (a) the Court brings the requirement to an end by interim order under regulation 96(1)(a); (b) the proceedings at first instance are determined, discontinued or otherwise disposed of and no order has been made continuing the requirement (for example in connection with an appeal or the possibility of an appeal). (The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015, as amended in 2019, Reg. 95 (1))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? N/S. The Regulations do not specify a maximum number of days until court decision. ( )
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. There is no legal requirement but in practice High Court judgments are published on https://www.judiciary.uk/court/high-court/ . ( )

Legislation

The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations No. 1848 of 2011 (English)pdf
The Public Contracts Regulations No. 102 of 2015 (English)pdf
The Public Procurement (Amendments, Repeals and Revocations) Regulations No. 275 of 2016 (English)pdf
The Public Procurement (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations No. 2053 of 2011 (English)pdf
The Utilities Contracts Regulations No. 274 of 2016 (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017