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Codes of Conduct

The Codes of Conduct outline the standards of conduct expected of councillors and members of devolved public bodies.

How to make a complaint about a breach of the Councillors Code of Conduct or the Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies

The Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, as amended, established the Standards Commission for Scotland and the post of Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (CESPLS). The SCS and CESPLS are separate and independent, each with distinct functions. Complaints of breaches of these Codes are investigated by the CESPLS and adjudicated upon by the SCS.

The independence of the investigatory role undertaken by the CESPLS and the adjudicatory role undertaken by the Standards Commission is a crucial principle. Neither organisation has an oversight function in respect of the other. The reason for, and benefit of, the separation of functions between the two distinct organisations is to ensure impartiality, fairness and objectivity in the decision-making process.

The Standards Commission does not have the power to investigate a complaint unless it has been referred to us by the CESPLS.  Therefore, if you wish to make a complaint about a councillor or member of a devolved public body, you must make it to the CESPLS. Information on how to do so is available on his website at  Alternatively, please contact his office on 0300 011 0550.

Before making a complaint, you may wish to review the Codes of Conduct, which can be found here. It is important to note that the key principles within the Codes of Conduct are there for guidance.  Councillor and members of devolved public bodies should ensure that they have regard to, and follow, these principles.  However, a breach of one or more of the key principles does not in itself constitute evidence of a breach of the Code of Conduct.