Director of Propriety and Ethics

Ian Mitchell



Director of Propriety and Ethics,
St Andrew's House,
Regent Road,

Ian Mitchell has been DIrector of Propriety and Ethics since early 2021.


Responsibilities for the Director of Propriety and Ethics include:

  • establishing and bedding in a new propriety and ethics function
  • management and oversight of our continuous improvement programme of improved culture and behaviours, including quarterly updates to Scottish Parliament
  • oversight of a refreshed procedure for handling complaints about ministers or former ministers
  • managing a programme of forward risk assessment across the organisation to address concerns about culture and behaviour before they develop
  • promoting best practice in propriety and acting as advisor as required


He has worked for the Scottish Government since just before devolution in 1999. Prior to this, he worked in local government. Most recently, Ian worked in European strategy development and policy planning.

Ian left Scottish Government for two years to take up a post of Chief Executive in a social enterprise based in Glasgow and Ayrshire, helping businesses to develop and providing job and training opportunities for those who most need support.

He returned to Scottish Government in early 2021 to his current post. Ian has had a range of previous posts in Scottish Government, working in core directorates and in an agency. 

Previous roles include:

  • External Affairs – Head of International and latterly response to Brexit
  • Education – Head of Teacher Education and School Infrastructure
  • Head of Environment. including key relationship Zero Waste Scotland
  • Head of Public Service Reform and Public Bodies Unit
  • Director of Regeneration (Communities Scotland)

Ian was born and brought up in Dumfries, attending Dumfries Academy, and studied Town and Country Planning at Heriot Watt University. He has a Masters in local economic development. Ian has taken two short-term career breaks to cycle parts of the world.

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