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The Councillors’ Code of Conduct- Consultation on possible amendments of provisions on conflicts of interest

The Councillors’ Code of Conduct- Consultation on possible amendments of provisions on conflicts of interest

Monday, December 12, 2016

ISBN: 9781786526595

To consider making changes to the Code to address a specific issue relating to Sections 5 and 7 of the Code on declarations of interest in connection with quasi-judicial or regulatory matters. The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on whether such changes should be made, and if so what form those changes should take.

Executive Summary

The proposal is to amend the Councillors’ Code of Conduct so that councillors who are appointed or nominated by their councils to be members of an outside body would not be prevented from taking part in their council’s discussion of a matter of a quasi-judicial or regulatory nature in which that other body had an interest solely because of their membership of that body.

It is suggested that this could be done by extending the current specific exclusion in the Code for councillor members of a public body, so that it would include quasi-judicial or regulatory matters in which that body had an interest. This would enable councillor members of a public body to take part in their council’s consideration of and decision-taking on such matters, although they would still need to declare their interest as a member of that public body. There would be a need to make consequential changes to para. 7.5 of the Code, which reiterates the principle that the specific exclusion does not apply to quasi-judicial or regulatory matters. However, the Scottish Government would be open to considering other options.