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About The Standards Commission
The Standards Commission for Scotland was established under the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000.
The Standards Commission is committed to high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors (approved by the Scottish Parliament) and those appointed to devolved public bodies (approved by the Scottish Ministers).
Our mission is:
The Standards Commission is completely independent of government when considering alleged contraventions of the Codes and in its decisions.
The Standards Commission will be open, fair and impartial in its judgements and it will be efficient, effective and accountable in its use of resources.
What do we do?
The Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 ("the 2000 Act") provided for a framework to encourage and, where necessary enforce, high ethical standards in public life. The Act established the Standards Commission for Scotland (referred to as "the Commission" in the Act) and the post of Chief Investigating Officer, whose functions are now undertaken by the Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland ("the PSC").
In essence, the Act creates a framework whereby local authorities and devolved public bodies are required to adopt Codes of Conduct for their members, and complaints of breaches of these Codes can be investigated by the PSC and adjudicated upon by the Standards Commission.
The Standards Commission's functions as provided for by the 2000 Act are to:
- issue guidance to councils and devolved public bodies:
- to assist them in promoting high standards of conduct and
on the Commission's relationship with them in carrying out its functions under the 2000 Act.
- receive reports from the PSC on the outcome of his investigations and determine whether to:
- direct the PSC to carry out further investigations;
- hold a Hearing; or
- take no action.
- hold a Hearing to determine whether a councillor or member of a devolved public body has contravened the Councillors' or the Members' Code.
- where, following a Hearing, the Panel find that a councillor or member has breached the relevant code, to determine, in accordance with the Act, the sanction to be applied.
The Scottish Parliamentary Commission and Commissioners etc. Act 2010 provides that with effect from 1 April 2011 the Standards Commission is supported by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
Which authorities does the Standards Commission work with?
The Standards Commission works with:
- 32 local authorities
- 106 public bodies