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.
7th October 2019
Section 21 of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 provides the Standards Commission with the power to impose an interim suspension on a councillor or member of a devolved public body on receipt of an interim report from the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (ESC) on an ongoing investigation. A decision to impose an interim suspension is not, and should not be seen as, a finding on the merits or validity of any allegations against the councillor or member concerned. It should also not be viewed as disciplinary measure.
In making a decision about whether to impose an interim suspension, the Standards Commission is not making findings of fact, nor making findings as to whether any allegations are or are not established. It is sufficient for the Standards Commission to act if it is satisfied that there is a prima facie case to do so. It should be noted that any differences in the recollections and accounts of witnesses can be explored during the investigation, before being weighed and tested during the adjudication process (should any complaints reach that stage).
On 7 October 2019, the Standards Commission made decisions in respect of whether interim suspensions should be imposed on two elected members of Perth & Kinross Council. The decision in respect of Councillor Colin Stewart can be found here and the decision in respect of Councillor Callum Purves can be found here.