Ministerial code updated

Changes to improve transparency.

The Scottish Ministerial Code has been updated to further strengthen transparency and propriety.

Updates to the Code include:

  • New text reflecting the updates to the procedure for handling complaints by civil servants about the behaviour of a Minister or former Minister, making clear that for future complaints certain information about concluded cases will be made public, including the Minister’s name, the nature of the complaint and the outcome of the complaint, even after a Minister has left office, and setting out the obligation on Ministers to cooperate with the procedure. 
  • The introduction of an annual review of Ministers’ private interests, and proactive publication of these interests on an annual basis, to enhance integrity and transparency around actual or perceived conflicts of interest.  In addition, new text has been introduced to provide additional clarity for Ministers on managing overlaps between their Ministerial responsibilities and constituency interests.
  • General updates on provisions for maternity leave and to reflect the introduction of the Bute House Agreement, as well as minor amends to take account of digital developments, new published strategies and changes in Ministerial titles and responsibilities.

The First Minister Humza Yousaf said:

“This new edition of the Ministerial Code sets the highest standards of propriety and transparency for Government Ministers. All Scottish Ministers, including myself, are bound by its terms and are committed to uphold the Principles of Public life, ensuring integrity, accountability and honesty at every level of leadership.

“Scottish Ministers are committed to building a better future for the people of Scotland while facing the profound challenges of our time. This will mean taking some tough decisions to ensure that we support those in greatest need, and it is vital that we are guided in this mission by a clear set of principles.”


2023 edition of the Ministerial Code.

Ministerial Complaints procedure.

The first annual review of Minister’s private interests will publish early in the next parliamentary session.


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