- 8 Jan 2019
As part of the settlement, I have accepted that the decision reached after the investigation of two complaints made against Mr Salmond should be set aside.
This action is being taken because it has become clear that, in one respect only (albeit an important one), the investigation was procedurally flawed.
After reassessing all the materials available, I have concluded that an impression of partiality could have been created based on one specific point - contact between the Investigating Officer and the two complainants around the time of their complaints being made in January 2018.
I want to apologise to all involved for the failure in the proper application of this one particular part of the Procedure. There is nothing to suggest that the Investigating Officer did not conduct their duties in an impartial way. Unfortunately, the interactions with the complainants in advance of the complaints being made meant that the process was flawed, however impartially and fairly the Investigating Officer conducted the investigation.
The Scottish Government has acted in good faith at all times and will continue to do so. It was right and proper that these complaints were investigated and I stand by the decision to carry out that investigation.
It is accordingly open to the Scottish Government to re-investigate the complaints and, subject to the views of the complainants, it would be our intention to consider this - however, this will only be once ongoing police inquiries have concluded.
My priority remains the duty of care to my staff, including anyone in the organisation who brings forward any concerns about inappropriate conduct, regardless of the identity or seniority of the individual complained about.
Finally I would reiterate that the single procedural flaw which led to this decision is deeply regrettable. In particular, I regret the distress it will cause to the two women who raised the complaints.
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House