Anti-sleaze policy too slow to arrive

November 7, 1997

The fourth Nolan report is published today, with institutions being criticised for complacency

Universities and colleges have been too slow to adopt "anti-sleaze" recommendations from the Nolan committee on standards in public life, the committee's fourth report will warn when it is published today.

Lord Nolan's first "review report", examining how the recommendations are being implemented, will censure the education sector for "complacency". It will say that there has been a willingness to take up recommendations, but implementation has been slow.

Nolan's measures to protect whistleblowers who expose legitimate concerns about malpractice have been generally accepted in principle, "but they have not got far in practice", said a committee source. Nolan said that "institutions should make it clear that they permit staff to speak freely and without being subject to disciplinary sanctions or victimisation, providing that they do so in the public interest."

Progress was also slow in implementing Recommendation 10, that the sector should set up a system of independent review of staff disputes. "The further education sector has been singled out for its lack of progress in setting up procedures," said the committee source.

"In the sector in general there has been some success, but it must not be complacent. Institutions have not moved from their long established procedures to take more account of the need for greater accountability."

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