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+2 votes
If a small group of parish councillors become the subject of a code of conduct complaint communicated through the monitoring officer, are the subject councillors entitled to publicly refer to the existence of the complaint and its details, or to let the press become aware of it - or do they have to suffer in silence throughout the process if they are feeling the complaint is designed to target them and distract? Are submissions of code of conduct complaints sometimes reported by the press?
by (720 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
The MO will apply a confidentiality caveat to details and correspondence associated with a complaint but the summary of their findings will be open source.
This means any nonsensical rubbish that is submitted and any counter argument is restricted from public exposure - unless MO includes it in the decision notice.
As is often expressed in degrees of frustration with the disinterest, lack of engagement and general ineffectiveness of the function of the MO - and the tendency of misuse of semi autonomous quasi authoritative QUANGOs with prosecuting / deciding authority such as is apparent in the PO scandal - frankly, who cares what a MO decision is?

If a Cllr is accused of something they should feel at liberty to make public any part of such an accusation as they see fit rather than wait to be told what parts of the process they can publish.
by (21.3k points)
0 votes
It has to be pointed out that any complaint made even about a councillor is no business of the council and should not be referred to or discussed by said council. Any decisions and recommendations made by the MO at conclusion are outside the powers of the council and between the councillor and the MO, The PC cannot visit their comments or desires for "punishment " of anyone found "guilty" by the MO. Best course of action is for the council to "move on" in silence.
by (27.0k points)
My understanding is slightly different. The MO can recommend sanctions on the cllr, but cannot impose them. It is the council that then should consider the MO's recommendations and impose them (or not, or different sanctions) on the cllr. The MO decides whether or not the cllr has breached the code, but the sanctions, if any, are decided by the council of which the cllr is a member, based on the recommendations from the MO. There are limitations to any sanctions imposed - eg. the cllr cannot be 'sacked'.
Any recommendations made by the MO regarding a complaint brought against a councillor are just that. It is nothing to do with the council. The decision made by the MO will go to the councillor and then made public. The council has no powers whatsoever to ensure those recommendations are carried out by the councillor.
0 votes
Usually, the complaint and any submissions about it are confidential until the MO reaches a decision. The process for handling code of complaints is usually documented by the MO and should be available for you to check. In fact, you should be point at that process if you are the subject of a complaint. Once the MO reaches a decision, they may publish a decision notice. If the complaint is not upheld, or was not a valid complaint, then often nothing is published. The submissions received are not usually published and treated by the MO as confidential. But I'm not an expert, your MO should be able to advise.
by (1.3k points)
0 votes
When I self reported a complaint  against me I told the MO waiving my right to confidentiality because I had nothing to hide
This immediately put the complainant on the back foot as they realised everything was going to be in the public domain
by (11.6k points)

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