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About Us

The Standards Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.

News and Blog

Standard Training Presentations on the Revised Codes of Conducts

30th November 2021

Revised Codes of Conduct: Standard Presentations The Scottish Parliament has approved revised Codes of Conduct for Councillors and Members of Devolved Public Bodies. These are due to be issued and published on 7 December 2021. The Standards Commission has produced the following standard presentations to assist with training on the revised Codes: The revised Councillors' Code of Conduct (2021)The revised Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public...

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Respect is Still Key

4th November 2021

The tragic death of Sir David Amess MP last month brought sharp focus on the security of our elected politicians and others in public life. It also provoked questions about the tone of public debate and highlighted the need for respect across the entire political spectrum. Our July blog post, “Why Respect is Key”, sought...

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Vacancy - New Member of the Standards Commission

28th October 2021

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) is seeking to appoint, with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament, a part-time member who must be able to spend 24 days per year on commission business and additional days for Hearings.  We are looking for a talented individual who has the ability to assimilate complex information to reach sound and impartial decisions, is committed to high ethical standards and who also has excellent communication skills. The appointment...

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Standards Commission Decision to Disqualify Councillor Upheld by Court

22nd October 2021

The Standards Commission for Scotland has today issued a Press Release regarding the decision of the Sheriff Principal in an appeal by former councillor Paul Mack. In refusing the appeal in its entirety, the Sheriff Principal confirmed that the original decision by the Standards Commission to disqualify Mr Mack was neither excessive nor unreasonable. Paul Mack’s disqualification will remain in place until September 2022. This means he cannot stand for election as a councillor until...

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Standards Update September 2021

30th September 2021

Our latest Standards Update is now available.

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Holding Hearings in Public

28th September 2021

Why hold Hearings in Public? One of the Standards Commission’s main responsibilities is to hold Hearings to decide whether or not councillors and board members of devolved public bodies have breached their Codes of Conduct. These Hearings are held in public, either in person, or online. If they are held online, they are simultaneously livestreamed on the Standards Commission’s website. But why all the exposure? It’s understandable if there has...

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Annual Report 2020/21

10th September 2021

The Standards Commission’s Annual Report for 2020/21 has been laid before the Scottish Parliament. A copy can be found here. The Annual Report contains: information about performance against strategic aims; case statistics; summaries of decisions made at Hearings; and governance and financial information.

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New Convener

1st September 2021

We are delighted to report that Paul Walker has been appointed as the new Convener of the Standards Commission. Paul has been a member of the Standards Commission since May 2018. His early career encompassed both the public and private sectors, as well as acting as a bridge builder between them when working for trade and employer bodies, including the Confederation of British Industry. He is active in a number of voluntary and community capacities, being engaged in charity-related work, such...

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Consultation on Revised Guidance

19th August 2021

The Standards Commission is currently seeking feedback on Guidance it has drafted to support both the revised Councillors’ and Model Codes of Conduct, which are shortly to be put before Parliament for approval. The draft Guidance, Codes and information on how to provide feedback can be found on the ‘Consultations’ page of this...

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To share or not to share!

2nd August 2021

To share or not to share – that is the question! One of the key principles of public life in Scotland is openness. This places a duty on politicians and individuals appointed to public positions to be as open and transparent as possible about their decisions and actions. It requires them to give reasons for decisions and to only restrict information if there is a wider public interest in doing so. So does this mean that the public is entitled to all informatio...

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