- Nolan principles
Anyone familiar with them? I’m a member of an organization that expects members to sign up to them.One principle is…
Openness Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands it.
We’re looking at ‘voting’ on some issues, and it is assumed by everyone (except me) that the ballots will be private. To me that seems to be in opposition to the openness principle.
So, the question is, can secret ballots sit comfortably within a Nolan principle framework?
Ta in advance.Posted 2 weeks agokiloSubscriber
Never heard of them but based on what you’ve said I would say no, if you don’t or won’t publicise the reason for your vote you are not being open unless there is a public interest criteria that demands confidentiality and without knowing what you’re voting on that’s difficult to gauge.Posted 2 weeks ago
Secret ballots are essential so that people are honest – especially if they are wanting to be critical of bosses suggestions. Its very hard to be critical of managment decisions in public, far easier in private.
the openness required would be to publish the results of the votingPosted 2 weeks agotwicewithchipsMember
My understanding is similar to yours OP.
This is broadly the equivalent of the voting history of your MP or local councillor being transparent (and a matter of public record in their case). I wonder if the organisation is adopting the principles of its own volition, or is required to follow them – that might affect how loudly you should shout about it?
What I mean is, are you and your colleagues holders of public office, or members of a committee or some such trying to act sensibly?Posted 2 weeks ago
For openness would a record of the result and a declaration of interests in the outcome (conflicts) from all people voting. Maybe also a reason why the vote is private rather than public – ie you need to be able to write something you can defend or passes the good old Oz “Pub Test” for being a valid reason – such as TJ suggested above for some things but if you have a functioning open and transparent work culture every memeber of staff should be comfortable enough to challenge and be challenged. In that respect many secret votes or feedback systems should be made obsolete by implementing open decision making good record keeping as to reasons decisions are made.
There should not be a secret vote on getting rid of, hiring somebody or anything commercial.Posted 2 weeks agokiloSubscriber
Having just had a skim of them it would be difficult to argue one is complying with principle 2 and 3 if the decision making process, i.e. the ballot is secret. I agree with tj to a degree but these protocols seem to expect one to speak up against poor decisions and don’t necessarily apply to the typical worker employee relationship.Posted 2 weeks ago
Ah, all interesting stuff. We have adopted the principles completely voluntarily, there is no pressure to do so. And the voting in question is to elect interview board members.
Whilst, I can understand people not wanting to know how they voted. I think that the secrecy is in direct conflict with the spirit of the principles.Posted 2 weeks ago
Ah – I was thinking in terms of a heirachical organisation and voting on managemnt decisions.
Voting to elect board members to do the interviewing? Odd think to do but on that I have no issue with open ballots bar the potential to cause upset if Member A knows no one votes for him
I still say its the results of the ballots that need to be open for sure. the individual vote I am still not surePosted 2 weeks ago
I still say its the results of the ballots that need to be open for sure. the individual vote I am still not sure
The test should be why should the vote be secret – in this case there is no reason, hiring and interviews should be one of the most transparent parts of an organisation. Again winding this back it actually shows a lack of leadership if this sort of thing is going to a vote – too many people involved or at the same level? Too many managers?Posted 2 weeks ago
Mikesmith -0 a good reason why the ballot should be secret – so folk feel able to vote freely without pressure.
In this case they are selecting an interview panel. This should not be secret as it could be brought up in a complaint if the process goes wrong. Also it should be up to management to pick an interview panel based on sensible guidelines.Posted 2 weeks agopolyMember
mike Smith i agree with you for most situations. However the op used the phrase “a member of an organisation”, that might suggest that it is some sort of institution where the governance is rather different to a top down management structure and where it’s members may be entitled to appoint one or more representatives to sit on a selection committee.
If the members are voting based on their personal interest then it should be a secret ballot to prevent outside influence; if they have been appointed by others and are voting to represent them it would be reasonable it is an open ballot.Posted 2 weeks ago
OK, some clarity. It’s a small tinpot political party. I’m a member of the steering committee, its a flat structure, and currently there is only us.
We’re voting on members to become the interviewing panel. The panel will be interviewing potential party candidates, who in turn will be expected to sign up to the Nolan principles.
They way I see it, is if we’re expecting candidates standing for us to subscribe to the principles, the framework behind selection should also be tied into them.
What’s very interesting, from the comments so far, is that I’m not being totally out of order in thinking this way. Which, in turn, gives me the confidence to bring the subject up as a discussion point.
It’s also interested to see just how many people are in the mood for dancing!Posted 2 weeks agotwicewithchipsMember
Then I think you are obliged to follow them aren’t you? It’s a bit more than the bowling club (or is it…;-)
(hmm, I now wonder if that’s only the case once elected)
Would chair plus company secretary plus most acquainted with HR (or chief exec if you have one) make a suitable panel without all the messing about voting?Posted 2 weeks ago
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