The Local Government Act 2001 sets out an ethical framework and imposes a statutory duty on local authority members (city and county councillors) to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest. This is to be achieved by adhering to the Code of Conduct for Local Authority Members, the completion of annual declarations of interest and the completion of annual political donation statements.  

Under Part 15 of the Local Government Act, the Standards Commission has the authority to examine certain complaints about local authority members. 

All local avenues should be exhausted before such a complaint is referred to the Standards Commission.  If a person considers that a member of a local authority may have contravened a provision of Part 15 of the Local Government Act 2001 or the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 & 2001, the matter should be examined by the local authority ethics registrar in the first instance. 

If a person is not satisfied with the outcome of the consideration of the matter following referral to the ethics registrar, the complaint may be referred to the Standards Commission.

Code of conduct for councillors