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7. Openness and accountability

Principle

The National Board leads the Party in being transparent and accountable. The Party is open in its work, unless there is good reason for it not to be.

 

Rationale

The public’s trust that the Party is delivering on what it promises is fundamental to its reputation and success, and by extension, the success of the Party. Making accountability real, through genuine and open two-way communication that celebrates successes and demonstrates willingness to learn from mistakes, helps to build this trust and confidence and earn legitimacy.

 

Key outcomes

  1. The Party’s work and impact are appreciated by all its stakeholders.

  2. The National Board ensures that the Party’s performance and interaction with its members and stakeholders are guided by the values, ethics and culture put in place by the board and the ‘1957 Committee’. National Board members make sure that the Party collaborates with stakeholders to promote ethical conduct.

  3. The Party takes seriously its responsibility for building public trust and confidence in its work.

  4. The Party is seen to have legitimacy in representing its stakeholders (members and beneficiaries).

 

Recommended practice

  1. Communicating and consulting effectively with stakeholders (members and beneficiaries)

    1. The National Board identifies the key stakeholders with an interest in the Party’s work. These might include beneficiaries, staff, volunteers, members, donors, suppliers, local communities and others.

    2. The National Board makes sure that there is a strategy for regular and effective communication with these stakeholders about the Party’s aims, values, work and achievements, including information that enables them to measure the Party’s success in achieving its purposes.

    3. As part of this strategy, the National Board thinks about how best to communicate how the Party is governed, who the National Board members are and the decisions they make.

    4. The National Board ensures that stakeholders have an opportunity to hold the board to account through agreed processes and routes, for example question and answer sessions, caucuses.

    5. The National Board makes sure there is suitable consultation with stakeholders about significant changes to the Party’s policies.

  2. Developing a culture of openness within the Party

    1. The National Board gets regular reports on the positive and negative feedback and complaints given to the Party. It demonstrates that it learns from mistakes and errors and uses this learning to improve performance and internal decision making.

    2. The National Board makes sure that there is a transparent, well-publicised, effective and timely process for making and handling a complaint and that any internal or external complaints are handled constructively, impartially and effectively.

    3. The National Board keeps a register of interests for National Board members and senior staff and agrees an approach for how these are communicated publicly in line with Principle 3.

    4. National Board publish the process for setting the remuneration of members, staff, and their remuneration levels, on the Party’s websites and in its annual report

  3. Member engagement

    1. The National Board members are elected (from a list submitted by the ‘1957 Committee’) on the basis that the board makes sure that the Party:

      1. has clear policies on who is eligible for membership of the Party

      2. has clear, accurate and up-to-date membership records

      3. tells members about the Party’s work

      4. looks for, values and takes into account members’ views on key issues

      5. is clear and open about the ways that members can participate in the Party’s governance, including, where applicable, serving on committees or being elected as National Board members.