Compliance Investigations Consultation

The Compliance Officer for IPSA is conducting a consultation into amendments to procedures for investigations.

Background to changes to the Investigation Procedures

Section 9A of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (as amended) (the “Act”) stipulates:

“The IPSA must determine procedures to be followed by the Compliance Officer in relation to investigations under section 9”.

The Act provides details of matters that must be addressed by the Investigation Procedures.

To ensure the Investigation Procedures not only contain the content required by the Act but are also a practical aide to those who interact with the regime, the Investigation Procedures are supplemented with guidance notes (in grey boxes) which do not formally form part of the Investigation Procedures. They are included for information purposes only.

Reason for change

The current edition (the third edition) of the Investigation Procedures came into force in January 2015.

While the third edition represented an improvement on its predecessors, the current Compliance Officer’s substantial experience of working with the Investigation Procedures (and the accompanying guidance) in practice has enabled her to identify several areas for improvement. Furthermore, the Compliance Officer considered that after six years it is appropriate to carry out a general review of the Investigation Procedures.

The Compliance Officer has worked closely with legal advisers to review the third edition of the Investigation Procedures and draft proposed amendments that make it easier to use, more effective, and ensure the Investigation Procedures comply with the Act's requirements.

The draft fourth edition

The draft fourth edition of the Investigation Procedures and accompanying guidance can be seen in Appendix A.

The significant changes are highlighted and explained in Appendix B.

The remaining changes not mentioned are purely for the purposes of tidying-up drafting.

The proposed amendments are the work of the Compliance Officer and her legal advisers.

Proposed changes to the Guidance on Conduct of Reviews

These are set out in Appendix C and are for reference as they are matters only for the Compliance Officer.

To submit your response to the consultation email by 19 March 2021.