Section 81: Disclosure and registration of members’ interests
193.Section 81 makes provision with respect to the disclosure of interests by members, the maintenance of registers concerning those interests and the circumstances in which members are not entitled to take part in proceedings of those authorities. It also gives the monitoring officer of an authority a specific duty of establishing and maintaining the public register of interests.
194.In particular, subsections (1) and (2) place the registration and declaration of interests within the model code of conduct.
195.Subsections (3) and (4) provide that the model code of conduct will contain requirements for members to disclose any interests specified and restrict them from taking part in decisions relating to those interests. Failure to comply with these provisions amounts to a breach of the authority's code of conduct unless its standards committee has granted a dispensation in accordance with any regulations issued under subsection (5).
196.Subsection (5) provides for the Secretary of State to issue regulations setting out the circumstances in which standards committees may grant dispensations to members of relevant authorities to enable them to participate in meetings in which they have an interest.
197.Subsection (6) specifies that the register should be made available at an office where it can be inspected and viewed by members of the public. Subsection (7) requires the authority to publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the area that the register is available, giving details of how the register can be obtained; the authority must also inform the Standards Board that the register is available.