In the Media

Review of super-regulators calls for more openness

PUBLISHED July 5, 2012

Thursday 05 July 2012 by Michael Cross

The Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints should open their board meetings to the public and publish all items of spending over £500, a Ministry of Justice Review has recommended.

The report of the first triennial review of bodies established under the 2007 Legal Services Act concludes that both the board and the office are doing the job they were set up for. It congratulates the two 'for the way they have complied with the [statutory] requirements'.

However it lists five areas 'where some action could usefully be taken to improve compliance further'.

These are:

  • Update their relationships with the MoJ to reflect their changed status under the coalition government's 'bonfire of the quangoes'
  • Recruit more diverse boards
  • Consider opening their board meetings to the public. At present 'neither the LSB nor the OLC has an open board meeting'
  • Publish all items of spending over £500 in line with the government's transparency policy
  • Prevent conflicts of interest by updating guidance on 'political activity and appointments or employment after resignation or retirement'

David Edmonds, chairman of the Legal Services Board welcomed the review's conclusions and said the board would continue to implement the programme of work set out in its 2012-12 strategic plan.