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Codes of Conduct

What are the Codes of Conduct?

The Scottish Ministers believe codes of conduct should be comprehensive statements of the principles and rules of conduct in the performance of their duties by Local Authority Councillors and Members of public bodies.

There is one Code of Conduct for the Councillors of all 32 local authorities in Scotland which has been in force since May 2003. During 2009 the Scottish Government undertook a limited review to address two key areas: the implications for the Code with respect to the legislative reforms of the Scottish Planning System which came into effect during 2009 and to review those areas of the Code which would benefit from the experience gained in its application since 2003. The third edition of the Code of Conduct was published in December 2010.

A supplementary Guidance Note to local Authorities and their Councillors has been published by the Standards Commission and is available to provide help in interpreting the Code.

In 2003 the Scottish Parliament approved the Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies and following a public consultation in 2013 the Model Code was renewed and approved by the Scottish Parliament and published in February 2014.

Each public body included in the ethical standards framework must submit a Code of Conduct for its members to the Scottish Ministers for approval. In order for the Scottish Ministers to approve the Code of Conduct for that body, the Code of Conduct for that public body must have regard to the Model Code of Conduct. Some variations to the Model can be reviewed and approved by Scottish Ministers, however, these must be kept as minimal as possible and have some particular relevance to the work or nature of the body itself to warrant inclusion. A supplementary Guidance Note to Devolved Public Bodies and their members has been published by the Standards Commission and is available to provide help in interpreting the Code.

What is contained within the Codes of Conduct?

The Codes of Conduct are based on 9 key principles (which are also contained within the Codes). The key principles which are the same for both Councillors and Members of Devolved Public Bodies, are:

 

 1.        Duty

 2.        Selflessness

 3.        Integrity

 4.        Objectivity

 5.        Accountability & Stewardship

 6.        Openness

 7.        Honesty

 8.        Leadership

 9.        Respect