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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

Similar names, different roles.....

25th February 2022

Similar Names, Different Roles The existing ethical standards framework in Scotland for councillors and members of devolved public bodies (such as colleges, health boards and regional transport partnerships) was established in 2000. The framework allowed the Scottish Ministers to issue Codes of Conduct for councillors and members that are intended to regulate their behaviour and promote high ethical standards. The Codes require councillors and members to behave...

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New Standards Commission Member

9th February 2022

We are delighted that Suzanne Vestri has been appointed by the Scottish Parliament as a Member of the Standards Commission. Suzanne is a self-employed consultant providing support and training to public and voluntary sector organisations. She previously led the award-winning ‘see me’ campaign to end mental health discrimination. Suzanne breeds rare-breed sheep and runs a successful wool business, and is a volunteer First Responder for the Scottish Ambulance Service.

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1st February 2022

We expect politicians and others in public life to lead. They are responsible for making decisions that impact almost every aspect of our lives, from how we are protected, to the services we receive and the tax we pay. Leadership has been of particular importance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Central and local governments have made decisions that have had a huge impact on our health and well-being, the economy, and even our rights and freedoms. It is essential, theref...

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Audit Scotland’s Section 22 Report on the Ethical Standards Commissioner - Statement from the Standards Commission for Scotland

20th December 2021

Audit Scotland today published a Section 22 report on the Ethical Standards Commissioner (ESC). The report can be found at:  Reports are prepared by the Auditor General under Section 22 of the Public Finance and Accou...

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Standards Update December 2021

20th December 2021

Our latest Standards Update is now available.

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Honesty and Trust

17th December 2021

It’s fair to say there has been a great deal of press coverage recently about the honesty of our leaders.  The conduct of politicians and others in public life is under intense scrutiny, with many questions asked of their integrity.  Of course, putting a “spin” on matters is seen as part and parcel of politics. There is, however, a difference between highlighting issues or facts to suit your argument (or omitting to talk about on...

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New Codes of Conduct Issued

8th December 2021

The Codes of Conduct for councillors and members of devolved public bodies in Scotland have been strengthened to make it clear that behaviour such as bullying and harassment is completely unacceptable. Provisions relating to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality have also been tightened to ensure that individuals do not try to profit from their position as a councillor or board member, and to ensure they are not being improperly influenced. Further, a new three-stage...

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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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