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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

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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Why Respect is Key

6th July 2021

One of the nine key principles of public life in Scotland is that of respect. Councillors and members of devolved public bodies are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards their colleagues, employees and members of the public, and to treat them with courtesy at all times. If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being found in breach of their respective

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Standards Update June 2021

30th June 2021

Our latest Standards Update is now available.

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Why Transparency Matters

26th May 2021

Politicians and other individuals in public life are expected to register and declare both their interests, and any gifts and hospitality received. This can sound like red tape - just another annoying and pointless task for them to remember to do. Surely requiring someone who is already busy or overworked to do so is simply bureaucratic nonsense? Well… no! The requirement to register and declare interests allows the public to have confidence that those who are resp...

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