Press release 14th Oct 2012

'Generals for hire' scandal highlights urgent need for reform

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The Sunday Times has today released undercover video footage showing some former high-ranking military officers display a willingness to breach official rules on the revolving door. The former defence officials were filmed offering to use their connections to lobby to win multi-million pound deals for defence firms.


14 October 2012 - Commenting on these revelations Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, said “The allegations that former senior defence officials may be abusing positions of trust for private gain are shocking and will further undermine public trust in government. An independent parliamentary investigation must be launched to look at whether Government rules on procurement lobbying and post public employment have been violated.

“It is alarming that in some of the cases reported in the Sunday Times article it is alleged that government procurement regulations and the rules of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) are being flouted.

“Clearly, the current system for regulating the revolving door between government and resources-resources-business is seriously deficient and needs to be fixed. ACoBA needs to be replaced with a statutory body with sufficient powers to enforce more robust rules to regulate the post-public employment of former public officials.

“TI-UK supports the recommendation made by the Public Administration Select Committee for statutory regulation overseen by a new Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. We also need a mandatory register of all lobbying of public officials so that we know who is lobbying whom and for what purpose. 

“In the absence of such overdue reforms we will see more scandals such as this one, which will do more damage to public trust and confidence.”

TI-UK has published both a report and a policy paper on the revolving door in the UK. The papers analyse the current system of regulation and make recommendations for reform.