We propose to amend the Model Code to bring it up to date and make it more user friendly. The Councillors’ Code of Conduct is similarly going through a public consultation and, where appropriate, both the Model Code and the Councillors’ Code will be aligned. The Councillors’ Code consultation can be viewed on the Scottish Government consultation hub.
A copy of the proposed Model Code is attached. The key changes are:
- A general rewrite in first person to encourage Board Members to take ownership of their behaviour.
- Raising awareness of the need for careful consideration when a Board Member uses social media.
- Removing unnecessary information.
- Rewriting in plain English to make the Model Code easier to understand.
- Increased emphasis on addressing discrimination and unacceptable behaviour.
- Strengthening obligations regarding bullying and harassment.
- Strengthening rules around accepting gifts, both to protect Board Members and to build confidence in their impartiality.
- Section 5 has been redrafted to make it easier to follow and to apply the “objective” test.
- Section 6 has been amended to make the rules around access and lobbying clearer.
- Annex A has been amended to outline how complaints about potential breaches of the Code are investigated and adjudicated upon. It contains information about the sanctions available to the Standards Commission following a breach of the Code.
On approval of the Scottish Parliament, the revised Model Code will be re-issued by the Scottish Government and published on the Scottish Government website. All listed organisations will need to produce their own Code of Conduct based on the Model Code.
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