This background note details the approach taken in various Australian and overseas parliaments to codes of conduct for ministers and MPs.
In 2009, for various reasons, the conduct of ministers and members of parliament has been the subject of much media attention. The Australian and United Kingdom governments have conducted major reviews of entitlements paid to members of parliament. A number of Australian governments introduced codes of conduct for the lobbying industry to deal with the relationship between current and former members of parliament and the lobbying industry.
This background note details the approach taken in Australian and some overseas parliaments to codes of conduct for ministers and members of parliament, registers of interests, the post-separation employment of ministers and the use of ethics commissioners in providing advice on and/or conducting investigations into breaches of codes. It also includes sections on codes covering lobbyists. Where possible it provides links to relevant documents. It does not
compare codes of conduct or include codes covering the public service or ministerial staff.
The publication includes historical information to show the development of accountability and ethics regimens in each parliament.