General Accident PLC investments or pensions held by Reporters: FOI release

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

Information requested

  • As politically exposed persons are Government Reporters advised not to hold investments including pensions in General Accident PLC.
  • Please provide details of any investments or pensions held by Mr Stephen Hall, Scottish Government Reporter or his immediate family in General Accident


In terms of your first query, 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
As a public servant, an employee 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.
In terms of your second query I confirm that whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, the Scottish Government does not hold any information pertaining to Mr Stephen Hall, or his immediate family, with respect to investments or pension funds held in General Accident plc. This is because the Scottish Government does not hold the information, nor does it require to be held.

This is therefore a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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