Upholding trust and confidence
Citizens rightly expect that all those who choose to serve in local authorities uphold the public trust by embracing the values and ethics implicit in such public service. These principles underpin the contribution that the work of the panel and its framework make towards upholding public trust and confidence.
The framework is clear and understandable. This is essential for the panel to be able to communicate its determinations effectively to all those who are affected by, or who have an interest in, its work.
The framework provides for payment to members of local authorities who carry a responsibility for serving their identified communities of geography and of interest. The level of remuneration should not act as a barrier to taking up or continuing in post. There should be no requirement that resources necessary to enable the discharge of duties are funded from the salary. The framework provides additional recompense for those who are given greater levels of responsibility.
Democracy is strengthened when the membership of local authorities adequately reflects the demographic and cultural make-up of the communities such authorities serve. The panel will always take in to account the contribution its framework can make in encouraging the participation of those who are significantly under-represented at local authority level.
Taxpayers and citizens have the right to receive value for money from public funds committed to the remuneration of those who are elected, appointed or co opted to serve in the public interest. The panel expects all principal councils to make information readily and appropriately available about the activities and remuneration of their members.
The framework will be capable of being applied consistently to members of all local authorities within the panel’s remit as a means of ensuring that levels of remuneration are fair, affordable and generally acceptable.
The panel recognises that the complex mix of governance, scrutiny and regulatory duties incumbent upon members requires them to engage with a process of continuous quality improvement. The panel expects members to undertake such training and personal development opportunities as are required to properly discharge the duties for which they are remunerated.
Transparency of members’ remuneration is in the public interest. Some members receive additional levels of remuneration by virtue of being elected or appointed to more than one public body. The framework serves to ensure that knowledge of all members’ remuneration is made easily available to the public.
Remuneration of Officers
The panel applies these principles of fairness, accountability and transparency in all its determinations in relation to remuneration of members of all the authorities that fall within its remit. The same principles also apply when the panel is required to make recommendations in relation to the remuneration of the paid officers of these authorities.