Heavy fines possible for councillors who breach transparency rules
Date posted: 05-07-2012
THURROCK councillors could face a criminal conviction and fines of up to £5,000 if they fail to comply with new transparency requirements outlined in localism laws.
Described as ‘tough new measures’ to crack down on corruption, councillors have been told to declare interests including their financial and trade union dealings, with new requirements to take effect this month (July) reports publicservice.co.uk.
A deliberate failure to comply could result in a criminal conviction, which would be punishable with a fine of up to £5,000 and disqualification from office for up to five years.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the move was part of the government’s wider transparency agenda, which has seen the release of data on public spending, officials’ salaries and more.
Councillors will be required to disclose certain pecuniary interests on a publicly available register. Pecuniary interests cover areas including a member’s employment, office, trade, profession or vocation.
Sponsorship is also covered, including election expenses contributions, as well as contracts held between the councillor and the authority, land the member has an interest in within the authority’s area, any ‘licences’ the member holds to occupy land in the area, any ‘corporate tenancies’, and certain ‘securities’ the member may hold, according to DCLG.
For further information on this story and other reports go to www.publicservice.co.uk