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Local council monitoring officers, who are often lawyers, should have a duty to report a councillor's misconduct to a new standards board, under proposals in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions' consultation paper published last week. The paper supports the Nolan report into local council ethics published last July, which says every council should adopt a code of conduct. It also proposes that the monitoring officer should always be a chief officer and that he should have the same protection against dismissal as the head of paid service.