- 7 May 2019
Date received: 17 Apr 2019
Date responded: 30 Apr 2019
Please provide records of all entries in the ʻRegister of Gifts and Hospitality receivedʼ or any similar recording vehicle for Mr Stephen Hall, Scottish Government Reporter within the past five years
Please provide records of your Register of interests in companies and or equities held by Mr Stephen Hall in the past five years
If it may be of assistance in the first instance to clarify, by way of background, that the Civil Service Code, which applies to all civil servants, requires that they should not put themselves in a position where duty and private interests conflict, nor make use of their official position to further those interests.
I attach a copy of the Code of Conduct for your convenience https://www.gov.scot/publications/civil-service-code/
As a public servant, an employee of the Scottish Government has a particular duty to ensure that their public position is not, and raises no reasonable suspicion of being, abused in their own personal interest.
DPEA prides itself on the professionalism, fairness and impartiality of its Reporters who make decisions or submit reports based solely on the merits of the cases which they consider. All Reporters are aware that they have to be seen to be independent, untainted by any influence that might be seen as a source of potential bias or prejudice that could affect the outcome of a case. Reporters should not be involved in clubs or pressure groups that might be seen as influencing judgement. Similarly, Reporters are advised to take care that personal relationships with people that they meet through their work do not create the perception that favours are expected and given.
It is a Reporter’s duty to ensure that they do not use their official position to further their own private interests or those of others. Reporters do not take part in any decision that could affect the value of private investments or those of their family or close friends. It is undesirable that any Reporters or members of their immediate families, hold shares in any of the major retailers, house builders, and utility companies operating in Scotland. To do so would put a reporter at risk of challenge on grounds of potential bias, which would limit their ability to perform their responsibilities as a Reporter.
Turning to your particular queries, Scottish Government staff are occasionally offered gifts or hospitality while carrying out normal official business. These are mainly in respect of events, working lunches or dinners, which officials attend on behalf of the Scottish Government as part of their jobs. There are clear guidelines and procedures in place, balancing accepted business practice and social convention while avoiding impropriety and conflict of interest. The Scottish Government enforces a clear, consistent policy regarding gifts and hospitality.
Gifts and hospitality : the table below details of gifts/hospitality received by Stephen Hall BA(Hons) BPI MRTPI in the past 5 years :
which event offered
(Christmas) – Faculty
Register of Interests :
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because there are no entries, pertaining to Mr Stephen Hall, on the Register of Interests.
This is therefore a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House