In his report into the LSE’s relationship with Libya, the first of Lord Woolf’s recommendations was that "the LSE should have an embedded Code dealing with ethics and reputational risk which applies across the institution". In order to address this issue, in January 2012 the Council established an Ethics Code Consultation Group (ECCG), which ran a two month consultation between February and April 2012.
The School-wide consultation was opened by a letter from the then Director, Professor Judith Rees, to all members of the School and the ECCG was chaired by Dr Daleep Mukarji, a member of the Court of Governors and former director of Christian Aid; membership was drawn from across the School and included staff, lay governors and a representative from the Students’ Union. You can view the membership of the group here.
The ECCG used an illustrative draft Ethics Code as the basis for consultation, although were clear that this was to be seen as the starting point for discussion with the School Community, rather than as a first draft of the code itself.
A dedicated webpage and email address [firstname.lastname@example.org] was set up to provide information on the consultation process and enable people to make individual submissions. In addition, feedback was sought at a range of committee meetings and discussion forums. In particular, the Group held a dedicated ‘Town Hall’ meeting on 23 February, to which all governors, staff and students were invited.
Over the course of the two months, a wide range of individual contributions were received, along with feedback from 16 committee meetings and discussion fora.
Once the consultation had closed, a first draft of the Code was drafted and discussed at both Academic Board and Council before the final draft of the School’s first overarching Ethics Code was approved by Council on 19 June 2012.
The Ethics Policy Committee (EPC) was established by Council in June 2012 with a remit to oversee both the Ethics Code and the School’s wider ethical framework. This includes an Ethics (Grants and Donations) Panel which assesses whether the sources of funding coming in to the School via prospective grants or donations referred to it are ethically acceptable. Council have also approved new procedures for ethical screening of grants and donations.
The effectiveness of the Ethics Framework is currently being reviewed by the Ethics Framework Review Group and will be reporting during the Lent Term 2014.