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    New Code of Conduct, revised set of Standing Orders for MPs

    August 07, 2017

    Parliament is to adopt a new Code of Conduct for MPs and revised set of Standing Orders shortly making it obligatory for all Parliamentarians to disclose information on their business relationships and financial interests including those of close family members.

    According to the Assistant Secretary-General of Parliament Kushani Rohanadeera, the final draft of Code of Conduct for MPs would be presented in Parliament this week.

     

    The revised set of Standing Orders is also expected in the House within this month. “Final touch-ups are being made to the two final drafts. These last minutes Amendments came up during a series of discussions held late last month. The provision for maintaining a Members’ Interests Register has been retained in the final draft,” she said.

     

    “All parties have consented for the declaration of interests of MPs. This provision has been made to increase the public trust in MPs,” she added.

     

    As per the draft Code of Conduct, “every Member should immediately after a general election disclose to Parliament all relevant interests that a reasonable person might think could give rise to the perception of influencing behavior between duties and responsibilities and the personal interests of such Member such as assets relating to land and property, shareholdings and gifts”.

     

    “Any items received or donated by an MP are also required to be disclosed under this provision. The provision also applies to the parents, spouse and children of the Member concerned. The proposed Code of Conduct also prevents any member from voting in a division “on a question relating to a matter other than public policy in which he has a financial interest”, Rohanadeera said.

     

    Assistant Secretary-General of Parliament Tikiri Jayathilake, however, pointed out as the Code of Conduct for MPs is not a ‘law’ such as the Assets and Liabilities Act, only disciplinary action could be taken at an instance of any incorrect or false information given to the register.

     

    The register will be available for inspection by any member on request made to the Secretary-General. The provisions of the Right to Information Act No.12 of 2016 apply to publication of any information contained in the Register. (CDN)

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