Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests 2011
The Summary of annual returns as at 31 January 2011 for the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament was presented by the Speaker, Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, to the House on Tuesday, 17 May.
Since 2005 the Standing Orders have provided a system for members of Parliament to register their pecuniary interests, such as the assets, debts, and gifts they may each have accumulated or received.
The register enhances the transparency and accountability of members. It provides protection against arguments that a possible conflict might arise between a member’s public duty and private interests.
In declaring their personal interests, members are expected to follow the principle of “if in doubt, declare it.” This principle is contained in the Privileges Committee report Question of privilege relating to compliance with a member’s obligations under the Standing Orders dealing with pecuniary interests (September 2008 (I.17D)).
In 2010 the Standing Orders Committee reviewed the operation of the Standing Orders setting out the requirements for members to register their interests. The committee considered how the rules had operated since 2005, and recommended substantial changes. The annual returns contained in the Summary have been made under the amended Standing Orders, which provide for greater clarity and openness. The title of the Register has been changed to the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament, to reflect that members are required to declare a broad range of personal interests, some of which are not strictly pecuniary.
This Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests covers the period from 1 February 2010 to the end of January 2011. Members were required to complete their returns by 1 March 2011.