Councillors Code of Conduct

Legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament called The Ethical Standards in Public Life Etc (Scotland) Act 2000 has now been brought fully into effect by the Scottish Executive and from 1 May 2003, councillors elected to local authorities in Scotland require to comply with a statutory Code of Conduct for Councillors when carrying out their public duties.

The legislation has a number of requirements but one of the main features is that the Code of Conduct for Councillors is enforceable through an agency called The Standards Commission for Scotland.

The Standards Commission has responsibility for giving guidance to local authorities about the Code and for hearing complaints referred to them by their Chief Investigating Officer that a councillor may have breached the Code. If it finds that a councillor has breached the Code the Commission may impose a sanction ranging from a formal censure of the councillor concerned to disqualification from office for up to five years.

Many differences between a councillor and an aggrieved individual can be settled at a local level without recourse to the formal mechanisms set out in the legislation. However if you would like to make a complaint against a Councillor or Member of a Devolved Public Body, ask advice about making a complaint,  find out general information about the investigations process or have any other enquiry regarding complaints, please use the link to The Standards Commission for Scotland under  "Other Useful Websites" at the right of the screen.

A copy of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc (Scotland) Act 2000 is available from the Stationery Office (ISBN 0- 10-591008-2) and on the Stationery Office website.

For further information on Councillors' Code of Conduct please use the 'contact us' box.

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