Press Release

New Code of Conduct for MLAs Comes into Effect Today

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Monday, 12 October 2009

Reference: SP 01/09/10

A new Code of Conduct for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly is being introduced today by the Assembly’s Committee on Standards and Privileges.

Commenting on its introduction, the Chair of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Declan O’Loan said: “I welcome the introduction of the new Code of Conduct and I’m sure the public will too. The new Code will significantly improve openness and accountability at the Assembly and will ensure that Members are held to the high ethical standards expected of them by the whole community.”

The new Code requires all MLAs to register any outside earnings and the approximate time they spend on these activities. MLAs will also need to register family members who benefit from any Members’ Allowance, for example, a family member who is employed through the Office Cost Allowance. The Assembly will also be able to suspend Members without pay if they are found to have breached the new Code.

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

1. The Assembly agreed the new Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members on 23 June 2009.

2. The Code can be accessed on the Northern Ireland Assembly website at: http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/your_mla.htm

3. MLAs will have twenty eight days in which to register their new interests, as required by the Code. Further to having collected and collated these interests the Assembly will then publish a new Register of Members’ Interests on its website.

4. Enquiries about the work of the Committee should be directed to the Clerk of the Committee, Paul Gill, Room 284, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX. Telephone 028 9052 0333.

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