Information

Making a formal complaint about a minister’s or former minister’s behaviour: updated procedure

Updated procedure for civil servants making a complaint about a Scottish Government minister or former Scottish Government minister.


Stage two of the procedure - investigation

The SG nominated contact will assign the complaint to an external decision maker and share the complaint, the initial checks carried out and any other information relevant to the decision that the complaint will be investigated.

The decision maker will have had no prior involvement with any aspect of the matter being raised, and no close association with the complainer or the subject of complaint.

The decision maker will commission an external investigator, appointed by the SG nominated contact, who will have had no prior involvement with any aspect of the matter being raised, and no close association with the complainer or the subject of complaint.

The decision maker will set the terms of reference for the investigation, for example the alleged incident(s), potential witnesses, and the format of the final report. This may include establishing if there are other staff within the SG who may have a legitimate interest in the outcome of the complaint, for example where the complainer is someone who witnessed the alleged behaviour and the investigation and decision may be relevant to staff who directly experienced the alleged behaviour.

The decision maker will share a copy of the terms of reference with the complainer, the subject of complaint, and the SG nominated contact. The decision maker will keep the SG nominated contact informed of expected time scales, and provide updates on progress against those timescales.  The decision maker will actively monitor the case to ensure that the investigation is concluded as quickly as possible and to minimise any delays.

The investigator will, in accordance with the terms of reference, undertake an impartial and objective collection of facts and evidence from the complainer, the subject of complaint and other relevant witnesses.

The investigator will establish the facts of the matter as far as is reasonably possible and appropriate. The decision maker will inform the complainer of any delays.

If the investigation is not completed after 30 working days, the case should be reviewed by the SG nominated contact. The purpose of the review is to ensure that everything possible is being done to progress the investigation, that the correct process is being followed and that all reasonable steps are being taken to avoid delays. Following review, the SG nominated contact may direct the decision maker or investigator to complete the investigation as far as is reasonably practicable.

The support contact will signpost or arrange support services to all parties involved in the investigation, including any witnesses.

The investigator will prepare a report presenting the facts and evidence ingathered, whether there are any mitigating factors to consider, and any other relevant information, and submit this to the decision maker.

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