Smith T 2014 Integrity in Politics? Public Office as a Public Trust? Is there Hope? Paper presented to the University of the Third Age, 23 July 2014 by the Hon. Tim Smith Q.C
This paper addresses in more depth than Tim Smith’s 2012 paper, the idea that “public office is a public trust “. It argues that ‘public trust’ has a degree of legal standing that makes it similar to fiduciary duty. This principle goes to a range of public offences, including official misconduct, willful neglect of duty, and embarking on a course of conduct the public officer has no right to undertake. The paper calls for a restoration of the principle of public trust, once active, now lapsed, that would entrench the understanding that accountability is an inescapable consequence of ascension to public office. The goal is to ensure that “elected representatives and public servants and agencies will understand and accept that their fundamental and over-riding obligation is that they put the public interest first. ”
The introduction also outlines the history and development of ART and its Accountability Awards.