Model code of conduct for members of devolved public bodies: consultation

This consultation presents proposals which will bring about important amendments to the Model Code of Conduct for Members of devolved public bodies since it was last reviewed in 2014.

The proposal

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.



Back to top