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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.

Direction on the Eligibility of Complaints

1st March 2021

The Standards Commission has issued a Direction to the Ethical Standards Commissioner (ESC) requiring her to carry out an investigation into every complaint about a councillor and member of a devolved public body she receives, unless:

  • the conduct referred to in the complaint would not, even if it could be established to have occurred, constitute a contravention of the councillors', or as the case may be, the members' code;
  • the councillor or a member of a devolved public body in respect of whom the complaint has been made has passed away prior to the complaint having been made or is an incapable adult within the meaning of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000; and/or
  • the conduct that has or is alleged to have contravened the councillors' or, as the case may be, the members' code occurred (or in the case of a course of conduct ended) more than one year before the complaint was received.

The aim of the Direction is to ensure there is clarity and consistency in respect of the criteria the ESC uses to assess whether complaints are eligible / admissible for investigation.