Integrity: the SELF test for decision makers

More than 25 years ago the Committee on Standards in Public Life held an inquiry into Parliamentary scandals and created seven principles that everyone in public life should adhere to. 

In my forthcoming course, The Principles of Managing Public Money, there will be a section on making decisions about public money. Making such decisions requires the decision-maker to have integrity and I will be referring to the SELF test for decisions. To pass the SELF test a decision should meet the following: 

  • scrutiny—will the decision withstand public scrutiny by the community and oversight bodies?

  • ethical—is the decision ethical and in compliance with the policies, practices or procedures of the organisation? Does the decision comply with relevant professional and ethical standards?

  • lawful—is the decision compliant with all laws, regulations and instructions?

  • fair—is the decision fair on the community, colleagues, your family, yourself and others?

You can get a one-page summary of all seven principles of public life here

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