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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

Postponement of Standards Officers' workshop on 23 March 2020

16th March 2020

We are disappointed to announce that we have decided to postpone our Standards Officers' workshop on 23 March 2020 because of the risks arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and wellbeing of delegates is of paramount importance and we are keen to minimise the risk of infection. We hope to reschedule the event and will contact delegates with an alternative date as soon as one is identified. We are sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause, but hope that delega...

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Suspension Guidance

25th February 2020

The Standards Commission has produced guidance to provide clarity on the extent of the activities in which a councillor can engage while they are subject to a period of full suspension (either on the finding of a breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct at a Hearing or as an interim measure while an investigation about their conduct is ongoing).  The guidance can be found

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Standards Officers' Workshop

3rd February 2020

The Standards Commission is holding its annual workshop for Standards Officers of devolved public bodies in Edinburgh on 23 March 2020. If you are a Standards Officer and would like to attend, or send a colleague in your place, please contact us (if you haven’t already done so).  The programme can be found here.

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Standards Update December 2019

18th December 2019

Our latest Standards Update can be found here:

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Draft Strategic Plan 2020-24

26th November 2019

The Standards Commission’s draft Strategic Plan for the four-year period from 2020 to 2024 can be found here.  The Strategic Plan outlines the Standards Commission’s vision and values, along with its four high level objectives. It also summarises the actions we intend to take to achieve these aims and how we will measure...

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Advice Note for Members of IJBs

6th November 2019

Following discussions with the Scottish Government, the Standards Commission has produced an Advice Note for Members of IJBs.  The Advice Note aims to provide members with an overview of their responsibilities under the ethical standards framework.  It seeks to assist members in recognising and dealing with potential conflicts of interest, and in interpreting the provisions in their IJBs Code of Conduct.  Some examples of potential breaches of the Code have been included, in an...

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Interim Suspensions

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...

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Standards Update September 2019

30th September 2019

Our latest Standards Update can be found here.  

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Annual Report 2018-19

2nd September 2019

Our Annual Report for 2018/19 has been published and can be found here.  The Annual Report contains information about the work we undertook last year in order to meet our strategic objectives.  It also contains case statistics and summaries of the outcomes of the public Hearings we held and provides an overview of our governance arra...

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Appeal Judgement

18th July 2019

The Standards Commission is pleased to note the terms of a judgement by the Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central and Fife in respect of an appeal lodged against a decision of one of its Hearing Panels.  The Sheriff Principal refused the appeal in entirety and made no criticisms of the Panel’s decision or reasoning in respect of both breach and sanction.  The Sheriff Principal was satisfied that the Panel had applied Article 10 of the ECHR correctly and that it had “carr...

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