Civil Service Code guidelines regarding personal relationships: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01507
Date received: 29 June 2017
Date responded: 6 July 2017

Information requested

What is your policy when a staff member is in a relationship/living with a contractor that is working in the government? The contractor is based within a Scottish Government building. The contractor and staff member are in the same team.


The answer to your request is that we expect the same standard of conduct from contractors as we do from permanent employees. This includes the Civil Service Code which sets out the core values of the Civil Service and the standard of behaviour expected of all who are carrying out work for the Scottish Government – including behaviour outside of work and in dealings with one another.

The code outlines four core values which must be upheld at all times:

  • integrity - putting the obligations of public service above their own personal interests
  • honesty - being truthful and open
  • objectivity - basing their advice on rigorous analysis of evidence
  • impartiality - acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions


They should inform their manager if they believe:

  • they are being required to act in a way that conflicts with the code
  • they become aware of actions of others which they believe conflict with the code

Where a relationship is known, line management should put in place appropriate steps to avoid any perception of the relationship conflicting with the work of the team and the interests of the department.


Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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