Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

Guidelines and advice from Committees.

12

12. (1) A Committee—

( a) shall, after consultation with the Commission and the other Committee, from time to time draw up and publish to members guidelines concerning the steps to be taken by members to ensure compliance by them with F29 [ section 4 (1)(a) of the Act of 2001 and with ] this Act generally and, in particular, with sections 5 and 7 , and

( b) may, at the request of a member, give advice to the member in relation to any provision of this Act or as to the application, in relation to any particular case, of F30 [ the said section 4 (1)(a) or ] section 5 or 7 .

F31 [ (1A) Guidelines drawn up and published under subsection (1) by a Committee of either House

( a ) subject to paragraph ( b ), shall remain in force until revoked, by guidelines drawn up and published under that subsection by that Committee or by a Committee appointed by the members of that House under section 8 after a subsequent general election for members of that House replacing the first-mentioned guidelines or amending other guidelines under that section, and

( b ) may be amended by guidelines under that subsection drawn up and published by a Committee specified in paragraph ( a ).

(1B) A document purporting to be guidelines under subsection (1) shall be taken, unless the contrary is shown, to be such guidelines and shall be admissible in any proceedings before a court or other tribunal or a Committee or the Commission, and any provision of any such guidelines that appears to the tribunal, the Committee or the Commission to be relevant to a question in the proceedings may be taken into account by it in determining the question. ]

(2) When a request is made under subsection (1) (b) in relation to a particular case, the section concerned of this Act shall not, as respects the member who made the request, apply in relation to that case during the period from the making of the request to the time when advice is given by a Committee in relation to the case or it declines to give such advice.

(3) A Committee shall, within 21 days of the receipt by it of a request for advice under subsection (1) (b), furnish the advice to the member concerned or notify him or her of its decision to decline to do so.

(4) A person shall act in accordance with guidelines and advice published or given to the person under this section unless, by so doing, the act concerned would constitute a contravention of another provision of this Act.

(5) In this section “ member” does not include a member who is an office holder.