With Kevin Rudd again delaying the release of his ministerial code of conduct, perhaps it’s time to spell out a few key areas that should be addressed. The first principle is that “sunshine is the best disinfectant” – the onus should always be on maximising timely disclosure.

Blind trusts are out and complete disclosure of all shares and investments owned by the Minister, their spouse and dependent children should be revealed. This could be known as the Jeff Kennett clause – given that the former Victorian Premier famously parked some ill-gotten investments in family accounts and failed to disclose them.

Directors of listed companies have to reveal any changes to shareholdings within three days, so Ministers should also make regular updates. I’m disclosing my 460-strong portfolio – including numbers of shares owned, purchase price and profit – on a monthly basis as you can see here.

Once accepting the principle of disclosure, we then get to the issue of what is an inappropriate investment.

John Howard set the standard by owning no shares. Using this benchmark, Therese Rein won’t be able to retain her $2 million portfolio which includes shares in the likes of BHP, CSL, the two PBL spin-offs, Transurban, Westfield, Ramsay Healthcare, ANZ, Macquarie Bank, DUET Group and APN News & Media.

The enormous conflicts in all these holdings were spelt out in this Crikey story from February.

So, if the Rudds are really worth $30 million, where can they park their cash? The international operations of Ingeus are reasonable, provided Kevin never speaks to Gordon Brown about that big UK government contract they’ve just won.

Property is fine, but the best alternative would be managed funds – such as an Australian equities trust. Owning individual stocks, especially those licensed by government, causes problems but buying the whole market should be encouraged.

The other tricky areas goes to the question of nepotism and related party transactions. The PM’s brother Greg Rudd has done the right thing getting out of the lobbying business but how can the public be protected from nepotism?

Rudd claims to be motivated by merit but Labor has long been prone to the old mates network in which political power sees supporters and their relatives rewarded with jobs.

Therefore, it would be great if Rudd’s code decreed that no spouse or relative of a Minister could land a government job. That would stop things like Nicky Downer’s Australia Council gig.

This whole area is very tricky so let’s hope Rudd gets it right and that accountability guru John Faulkner, the Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, is given sweeping powers to oversee its operation.

Today’s Mayne Report video features boxing gloves, migraine medication and chats with Mark Scott, Virginia Trioli, Deborah Thomas, Gary Linnell, Ray Martin and Alan Oakley from the Walkleys last Thursday.